The Incredible Undrying Wilderness

Wasn’t that the title of a classic novel or something? Anyway, In our continuing quest to test claims of climate impacts, some have pointed out to me in discussions that while there may not be strong evidence for certain kinds of impacts in some places, some of the claims are (sometimes, depending on whose claims) dependent on geography. Sure, the US isn’t drying up catastrophically (you know, where we grow enough food for some huge percentage of the world’s population)-but what about the rainforest (or something else)!

If I were my father’s age, I’d be tempted to say “We still have that?”-Well, I’m not. And we already commented on the global drought changes. But with regard to the Amazon in particular, once again WCR has drawn my attention to an interesting article, about precipitation there. It seems that, since 1920, there are no signs of significant decreases in precipitation (although there are insignificant declines in the North) and some statistically significant increases in precipitation in Southern Amazonia. Despite the drying influence of deforestation and (allegedly) AGW, the multidecadal variability and long term trends show the Amazon is NOT drying up. If this has been the case during the warming of the last century, it is hard to see how a radically difference response to future warming could occur.

A side note on precipitation: I highly recommend this excellent post by Willis Eschenbach which does something I’ve wanted to do for a while: show the spatial variations in US precipitation trends. He also analyzes the Palmer Drought Severity Index, which we’ve mentioned before.


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