If you want to know what the U.S. southwest faces in the coming decades if we don’t reverse greenhouse gas emissions trends quickly, just look to Australia:
David Jones, the head of climate analysis at the Bureau of Meteorology, said the drought affecting south-west Western Australia, south-east South Australia, Victoria and northern Tasmania “is now very severe and without historical precedent”.
Dr Jones said Victoria had had “the driest multi-year period on record, but also by far the hottest….”
He said temperatures were running at about one degree “above any previous comparable drought. That is substantially hotter, and that one degree is a global warming signal.”
He said the data suggests that for every one degree of warming, there is a 15 per cent decline in run-off, or river flow, in the Murray Darling Basin….
He said a similar drying pattern had been observed in Europe’s Mediterranean, and the south-west in the USA….
The highlighted point is key. Previously, droughts around the world were either cold-whether droughts or warm-weather droughts. In the future, virtually all droughts will be hot weather droughts, which are obviously the worst kind.
He said the current dry was at the extreme end of what the climate models had predicted.
Most of the major predicted climate impacts the planet is now experiencing are at the extreme end of what the models had predicted (see “Are Scientists Overestimating — or Underestimating — Climate Change, Part I“).
Here is more on Australia’s astonishing drought: