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Warming Climate May Spread Drying to a Third of Earth

Science Daily notes that “a new study by the Earth Institute at Columbia University estimates that 12 percent of land will be subject to drought by 2100 through rainfall changes alone; but the drying will spread to 30 percent of land if higher evaporation rates are considered.”
An increase in evaporative drying means that even regions expected to get more rain, including important wheat, corn and rice belts in the western United States and southeastern China, will be at risk of drought.
  • William Ruckelshaus, Lee Thomas, William Reilly and Christine Whitman, who took turns over the past 43 years running the Environmental Protection Agency wrote an op-ed piece to the New York Times on August 1, 2013 entitled “A Republican Case for Climate Action.” They served Republican presidents, but said “we have a message that transcends political affiliation: the United States must move now on substantive steps to curb climate change, at home and internationally.”

    “There is no longer any credible scientific debate about the basic facts: our world continues to warm, with the last decade the hottest in modern records, and the deep ocean warming faster than the earth’s atmosphere. Sea level is rising. Arctic Sea ice is melting years faster than projected. The costs of inaction are undeniable. The lines of scientific evidence grow only stronger and more numerous. And the window of time remaining to act is growing smaller: delay could mean that warming becomes “locked in.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/02/opinion/a-republican-case-for-climate-action.html?_r=0

  • Peter Gleick, President of the Pacific Institute, says “climate change is part of the cause [that California is in its third year of drought].” http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/3/31/california-watersnowpack.html

  • Interesting graphics on the California drought – precipitation; snow pack; reservoir conditions; and surface soil moisture.
    http://scienceblogs.com/significantfigures/index.php/2014/03/31/update-on-the-california-drought-march-31-2014/