The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Don't Blame Climate Change for Heavy Rain

The world’s summer monsoon rainfall is up sharply this year. Surely, climate change must be to blame?

Well, no. Climate models have predicted that for every degree of global warming, summer monsoon rainfall would increase 2.6 percent, yet rainfall is increasing nearly four times that projected amount. Natural swings in ocean temperature, not climate change, are the driving forces behind this change. As Andrew Revkin reports for the NYT, these results point out the fallibility of climate models:

[R]esearchers analyzing monsoon patterns around the Northern Hemisphere since the 1970s conclude that there has been a substantial intensification of summer monsoon rainfall and circulation. The researchers say natural variations in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans appear to be the main force behind the shift. Climate models have tended to project a different result. [...]

[T]he work appeared to raise significant questions about the limits of climate models and pose a challenge for anyone arguing that recent shifts in monsoons are due to human-driven climate change.

The climate is much more complex than climate change activists like to admit, and the consequences of global warming are hard to predict. The eagerness of activists to attribute every stray event to climate change and to repeatedly make things “clearer than truth” has gravely wounded the movement’s credibility. That, coupled with the movement’s predilection for unrealistic voodoo policy proposals and its embrace of quack remedies like ethanol helps explain why so much money, so much energy and so much dedication have yielded so little in meaningful policy change.

[Monsoon image courtesy of Shutterstock.]

Published on March 24, 2013 1:05 pm