Dr. James Hansen has posted a brief paper on current weather patterns. Much of the earth is experiencing warmer than normal weather, and there have been extreme floods in some areas, and fires in other regions. Hansen asks whether these patterns could be the result of global warming. While it’s not possible to definitively link near-term weather to long-term climate patterns, the current trends are consistent with patterns predicted by climate models. From the paper:
“What we can say is that global warming has an effect on the probability and intensity of extreme events. This is true for precipitation as well as temperature, because the amount of water vapor that the air carries is a strong function of temperature. So the frequency of extremely heavy rain and floods increases as global warming increases. But at times and places of drought, global warming can increase the extremity of temperature and associated events such as forest fires.”
Fortunately there is an emerging La Nina, which should have a cooling effect during 2nd half of 2010.
Thanks to Daily Kos for the tip