Hack journalism at the NYT

The NYT article below is standard Warmist talking points. The author accepts as gospel, claims and findings that are very much under challenge.  It is a very "free" version of the original academic article.  That article is "Increased Occurrence of Record‐wet and Record‐dry Months Reflect Changes in Mean Rainfall"

Despite working at the fanatically Warmist Potsdam Institute  lead-author Jascha Lehmann puts out a lot of careful research and the present article is pretty good, though not beyond criticism.  I think I should reproduce the abstract here:

Climate change alters the hydrological cycle which is *expected* to increase the risk of heavy rainfall events and prolonged droughts. Sparse rainfall data, however, have made it difficult to answer the question of whether robust changes can already be seen in the short observational time period. Here, we use a comprehensive statistical tool to quantify changes in record‐breaking wet and dry months. The global‐mean number of record‐wet months has significantly increased over the recent decades and is now nearly 20% higher than would be expected in a stationary climate with no long‐term trends. This signal primarily comes from pronounced changes in the northern mid to high latitudes where the occurrence of record‐wet months has increased by up to 37% regionally. The tropics have seen opposing trends: More record‐wet months in Southeast Asia in contrast to more record‐dry months in Africa. These changes are broadly consistent with observed trends in mean rainfall.

So where the NYT reproduces the standard absurd Warmist claim that global warming produces both  floods and drought, Lehmann finds differently.  He finds what basic physics would tell you: That a warmer world is a WETTER world. I have highlighted the key sentence. 

He finds an unusual incidence of drought in Africa only, which is well established.  But WHY much of Africa has been suffering a lot of drought in recent years is quite unknown.  Some weather system peculiar to Africa would have to be the explanation but nobody can figure out what it is.  Since global warming causes MORE rain, attributing it to global warming is absurd

So there is nothing that need disturb anybody in the Lehmann findings.  All that he found is that we have been getting more rain in the period from 1980 to 2013, which is well in accord with what we would expect given the roughly one degree C of warming that we have had over the last century or so

More records for both wet and dry weather are being set around the globe, often with disastrous consequences for the people facing such extremes, according to *a study published Wednesday* that offered new evidence of climate change’s impacts in the here and now.

Extreme rainfall, and the extreme lack of it, affects untold numbers of people, taxing economies, disrupting food production, creating unrest and prompting migrations. So, factors that push regions of the world to exceptional levels of flooding and drought can shape the fate of nations.

“Climate change will likely continue to alter the occurrence of record-breaking wet and dry months in the future,” the study predicts, “with severe consequences for agricultural production and food security.”

Heavy rainfall events, with severe flooding, are occurring more often in the central and Eastern United States, Northern Europe and northern Asia. The number of months with record-high rainfall increased in the central and Eastern United States by more than 25 percent between 1980 and 2013.

In those regions, intense rainfall from hurricanes can be ruinously costly. Munich Re, the reinsurance giant, said that the 2018 hurricane season caused $51 billion in losses in the United States, well over the long-term annual average of $34 billion. In 2017, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria contributed to a total of $306 billion in damage from extreme weather events in the United States.

Parts of Africa, on the other hand, are experiencing more months with a pronounced lack of rain. The number of record-setting dry months increased by nearly 50 percent in sub-Saharan Africa during the study period.

Jascha Lehmann, a scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and the lead author of the study, compared extreme weather events to a high roll of a die. “On average, one out of six times you get a six,” he said. “But by injecting huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, humankind has loaded the dice. In many regions, we throw sixes much more often with severe impacts for society and the environment.”

While much climate research relies on complex models to make projections, this new work interprets already-observed monthly rainfall data from 50,000 weather stations around the world. “That’s not to say models are not good,” Dr. Lehmann said in an interview, but his observational data “fits what we expect from physics and what models also show.”

Climate models have long predicted that because of the greenhouse gases human activity has pumped into the atmosphere and the warming that results, the world’s wet regions are likely to grow wetter. Warmer air causes greater evaporation from oceans and waterways, and warmer air can hold more moisture.

There is also evidence that changes in atmospheric circulation in summer have caused some weather systems to stall. The combination of such factors can lead to torrential rains like those that inundated the Houston area during Hurricane Harvey last year, and Baton Rouge during the floods of 2016.

Regions that tend to be dry, by contrast, are expected to grow even more parched as higher temperatures dry the soil and air. “Climate change drives both wet and dry extremes,” Dr. Lehmann said.

To conduct the study, which appears in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, Dr. Lehmann’s team searched the databases of an authoritative repository of rainfall measurement, the Global Precipitation Climatology Center in Germany. Given natural weather variability, some extreme weather events were to be expected, so the researchers tried to determine how many events would have occurred without the influence of global warming.

The researchers determined that one-third of the record-dry months recorded in the African regions under study would not have occurred without the influence of climate change.


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