A new study by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) indicates a pattern of global drought in some of the world’s most densely populated areas.
Most significantly, the US, Australia, Canada, and even Europe, major food producers, are predicted to be hit severely.
The study was undertaken using an “ensemble” of 22 computer models and previous global studies. Even if this study is partly right, it predicts major changes in food production and quality of life.
This may not be “An Inconvenient Truth”, but it’s definitely “An Inconvenient Possibility” by any measure. All of the world’s major food production areas are predicted to be seriously affected. The world’s new food bowls, ironically, are looking like Siberia, Alaska, northern Canada and India, which will become more moist by the mid to end of the century.
· USA: The US is predicted to experience a major dryout in the years to 2030, followed by increasingly severe drought. Alaska is defined as “wet” by the end of the century, unlike the rest of North America.
· Canada: Canada comes into the drought picture in 2030 with southern Canada in the dry zone by the end of the century.
· Australia: Australia is predicted to develop severe drought patterns, and unusually the far south, Victoria and Tasmania, are predicted to become much dryer than the current dry zones of the inland. Even New Zealand is expected to experience severe dry conditions.
· China: China becomes dryer around Tibet in the 2030s with dry conditions spreading to the coast by the middle of the century.
· South America: Severe drought in the Amazon basin by the 2060s.
· Africa: Progressive drought in the south, west and north of the continent, with only central Africa unaffected by the end of the century.
· Europe: Severe drought spreading to the rest of the continent by the middle of the century, extreme by the end of the century, on a par with North Africa.
· Russia: European Russia is predicted to experience the same effects as the rest of the continent. East of the Urals the climate is expected to become temperate.
· South East Asia: The rice bowl zone, except India, is expected to have conditions similar to Australia. Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan experience increased moisture.
This model won’t go unchallenged by climate experts, let alone greenhouse skeptics, but it should be noted that these models were constructed on the basis of extensive documentation.
Some gaps are apparent in the information provided by this study:
1. Greenland, a potential major player in any climate scenario, hasn’t been predicted in this study.
2. The climate model doesn’t include vegetation predictions, but the severe scenarios predicted are beyond tolerance of most staple food crops, most of which, even staples like wheat, require minimum amounts of water.
3. Ocean temperatures aren’t predicted. That’s critical, because the ocean temperatures are major climate drivers.
Parts of the world, however, are already experiencing serious water shortages. In prehistory, global droughts across major land masses were frequent. The NCAR climate model is looking very like those ancient times.