While California suffers through its worst drought in well over a century, a new group of studies by top meteorological scientists concludes that liberals' favorite alleged cause of extreme weather conditions, global warming, is not directly to blame.
As reservoirs and water tables dry up and wildfires burn in the Golden State, California residents instead can blame a weather phenomenon termed the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge (RRR), a high-pressure system over the Pacific Ocean which has driven normal water-bearing winter storms to the north and left California high and very dry, the Los Angeles Times reports
In the report, conducted by Stanford University and funded by the National Science Foundation, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, some 20 research teams concluded that while human-caused global warming can play a role in droughts, "natural variability likely played a much larger role in the extreme precipitation events" studied around the world, including the California drought.
In fact, the study's authors concluded that there has been "no appreciable long-term change in the risk for dry climate extremes over California since the late 19th century."
In 2013, California experienced less rain and snow than in the past 119 years, receiving only 15 percent of the usual rainfall during February, 2013, in a drought which still continues, "but a specific tie to man-made warming remains elusive," Bloomberg News reports
, entitled, "Explaining Extreme Events of 2013 From a Climate Perspective," concluded, "The extreme precipitation deficits over California during early 2013 resulted from considerably fewer North Pacific storms reaching California due to the blocking by persistent high anomalies over the Northeast Pacific."
The research teams concluded that the effects of the RRR may be enhanced by global warming. Stanford associate professor of environmental earth system science Noah Diffenbaugh said in a report on the studies: "Our research finds that extreme atmospheric high pressure in this region – which is strongly linked to unusually low precipitation in California – is much more likely to occur today than prior to the human emission of greenhouse gases that began during the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s."
The team found that the RRR effects were "at least three times as likely to occur in the present climate as in the pre-industrial climate."
However, the cause of the drought, which has caused Gov. Jerry Brown to declare an emergency and the federal government to consider all 58 California counties to be "natural disaster areas," according to Stanford, may be "linked," but cannot be directly attributed to, human-caused global warming, the report concludes
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