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View Diary: The Changing Southern Environment (27 comments)

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  •  I am not an expert, but ... (7+ / 0-)

    these cyclic drought periods seem to be highly associated with a relative desert climate and may be tied to changes in the circulation that make the rain shadow (which already exists) more effective for a period.  Another alternative is that for some reason El Nino/La Nina cycles lengthened. It is also possible that some other cyclic phenomenon of which I am unaware is at work and that I don't know what I am talking about.

    We could be in one of these "altered" cycles (as I said), but because of additional phenomena (sea ice loss in the Arctic, floods in some areas, glacial retreats in most areas - but not all) coupled with the increase in CO2 I think it (at present at least) best to follow the working hypothesis that our current problem is tied to global warming.  Of course both cyclic phenomena and global warming could be operating at the same time.  There is no a priori reason to suppose that this could never happen, even if unlikely. We simply don't know enough to say for sure.  That is what science is about!

    •  Mesa Verde was abandoned in a warm period (5+ / 0-)

      The climate warmed, especially in the North Atlantic. European records and proxy measurements show that the north Atlantic ocean was warm. The eastern Pacific entered a cool period of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the storm track moved north in the western U.S.

      That is the pattern we have now. See BillLaurelMD's recent diary.

      This time we have both the natural cycles and human caused warming.

      Not good.

      Outstanding diary, Desert Scientist.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 11:57:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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