Wednesday, August 17, 2011

No End in Sight for Texas Drought

The Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex heat wave returned with vigor this week.

The all-time record highest minimum temperature, set just last month, was tied again on the morning of Tuesday, August 16, 2011 when a low of 86 degrees was recorded.

The overnight lows have been exceptionally warm during the past few weeks. The old record high minimum of 85 from 1939 was first exceeded on July 26th was a DFW low of 86.

Overnight lows since July 26, 2011 have tied the new record 4 times, and the average low so far in August is 82.4 degrees, more than 6 degrees above the average.

The pattern ahead suggests very hot temperatures to persist with daily highs 104 to 110 and lows 80 to 85 through next week.

Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) argues that climate science is a contrived phony mess based on “so-called science” in a “secular carbon cult.” Speaking at a Politics and Eggs breakfast in Bedford, New Hampshire Wednesday August 17, 2012 Gov. Perry said,

“There are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects,” the Texas governor told a group of supporters at the “Politics and Eggs” Breakfast in Bedford, New Hampshire.

“I think we are seeing it almost weekly or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man made global warming is what is causing the climate to change,” Perry added. “Yes, our climate has changed. They been changing for ever since the Earth was formed.”

“But I do not buy into a group of scientists, who have been, in some cases, found to be manipulating this information. And the cost to the country and to the world of implementing these anti-carbon programs is in the billions if not trillions of dollars at the end of the day. And I don’t think, from my perspective, that I want America to be engaged in spending that much money on still a scientific theory that has not been proven, and from my perspective, is more and more being put into question.” (C-Span video)

See "Global Warming Is A Trick" Climategate claims proven untrue - Times of London Retracts its story. Also see Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. behind Climategate? And see The global cooling myth.

Gov. Perry, who failed to stop the drought with his prayer proclamation, yesterday dismissed any worries about the Texas drought while speaking at the Iowa State Fair. Perry said, we’ll be fine. As my dad says, it’ll rain. It always does.

Perry believes that the climate is still normal, unaffected by the 30 billion metric tons of carbon gas human civilization pumps in the biosphere every year, a level expected to increase to 33.8 billion metric tons annually by 2020 and grow to 42.4 billion metric tons annually by 2035.

Texas has grown hotter and drier, with stronger wildfires and torrential storms as climate changing greenhouse gases build in the atmosphere. Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Texas Tech University Climate Science Center, has said

...this summer is very similar to what is projected under a [climate changing] +2°C global mean temperature increase. We typically average 9 days per year > 100°F in Lubbock; this year we are at 43 and counting.

As of August 2011, 99 percent of Texas was in drought, with a staggering 78 percent in exceptional drought. The state’s farmers and ranchers are expected to lose about $10 billion this year to the killer climate, the worst in history.

The driest 10-month period from late 2010 to August 2011, yet a fresh record for Texas, has devastated the state and its farmers and ranchers. But, there is more to come... The National Weather Service warned Monday:


The U.S. Climate Prediction Center said that the La Nina weather phenomenon blamed for the crippling lack of rain over the last 10 months might immediately restart, just two months after the this La Nina cycle ends. If that happens, the drought would almost certainly extend into 2012.

The lack of rain has been made worse by stretch of triple-digit temperatures that started in June. The drought and extreme heat has caused reservoirs to evaporate, crops to wither and animals and fish to die off by the tens of thousands.

Gov. Perry has watched first hand the ravages of a warming climate first as Texas agriculture commissioner (killer droughts and record heat in 1996 and 1998) then as governor (droughts in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, with Texas’ hottest July in history). Still, Perry argues that climate science is “all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight” in his book, Fed Up! Perry says:

For example, they have seen the headlines in the past year about doctored data related to global warming. They know we have been experiencing a cooling trend, that the complexities of the global atmosphere have often eluded the most sophisticated scientists, and that draconian policies with dire economic effects based on so-called science may not stand the test of time. Quite frankly, when science gets hijacked by the political Left, we should all be concerned. . . .

And it’s all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight. Al Gore is a prophet all right, a false prophet of a secular carbon cult, and now even moderate Democrats aren’t buying it.

On the campaign tour at the Iowa State Fair this week, Perry met with Gov. Terry Branstead (R-IA), who has been dealing with farmers devastated by record floods in his state. Perry told reporters that he’s personally troubled by the terrible drought, but that “you’re going to have good years, you’re going to have bad years.” Perry told reporters in Iowa:

You know, I was telling the governor, if you’re in the farming business, you’re going to have good years, you’re going to have bad years. It’s just our bad year coming. We’ve had some awful good ones, back in — and we’ll be fine. As my dad says, it’ll rain. It always does.

Not withstanding Gov. Perry's support of ALEC's climate change skeptic political policy position, Texas’ own climate scientists warn that the future holds much more drastic changes, as the buildup of greenhouse gases has increased dramatically in the last twenty years, . By 2050, Texas will have become a desert, too hot and too dry for any agriculture at all.

Dr. Andrew Dessler, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University told ThinkProgress in an interview that Perry's position that climate science is a contrived phony mess is wrong:

There are dozens of credible atmospheric scientists in Texas at institutions like Rice, UT, and Texas A&M, and I can confidently say that none agree with Gov. Perry’s views on the science of climate change. This is a particularly unfortunate situation given the hellish drought that Texas is now experiencing, and which climate change is almost certainly making worse.

“Contrary to what one might read in newspapers, the science of climate change is strong,” Dr. Dessler and five other climate scientists from Texas schools wrote in the Houston Chronicle in 2010. “It is virtually certain that the climate is warming,” the entire faculty of the Texas A&M department of atmospheric sciences affirm.

“It is very likely that humans are responsible for most of the recent warming,” and future climate change from man-made greenhouse emissions brings a “risk of serious adverse impacts on our environment and society.”

The members of the Jackson School of Geosciences program in Climate Systems Science at the University of Texas at Austin also agree with “agree with the scientific assessment presented in reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

For many of us, we only have to look in our own backyards to see the evidence with our own eyes. Trees are blooming earlier in the year, winters are getting warmer, summers are getting hotter, extreme heat is becoming more frequent, birds, insects, and other animals are moving northward … in all, more than 25,000 independent lines of physical and biological evidence point to a warming world.

Related Posts:

The tropics and much of the Northern Hemisphere are likely to experience an irreversible rise in summer temperatures within the next 20 to 60 years if atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase, according to a new climate study by Stanford University scientists…. “According to our projections, large areas of the globe are likely to warm up so quickly that, by the middle of this century, even the coolest summers will be hotter than the hottest summers of the past 50 years,” said the study’s lead author, Noah Diffenbaugh

ABC News

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