Sydney Morning Herald - climate change to blame for increased bushfire risk
"We observed a large increase in fire-weather risk from about the year 2000. So part of this increase in risk has begun and has been observed," said Kevin Hennessey, who was attending the 9th International Conference on Southern Hemisphere Meteorology and Oceanography in Melbourne yesterday.
"The extreme dryness over the last 12 years may be due to natural variability but it may also be partly due to an increase in greenhouse gases; it's too early to tell."
It's not too early for the Herald though, who have had their minds made up and their eyes closed to any contrary evidence for years... Apologies for stating the obvious (yet again), but there has been no global warming since 2001:
(Image from www.drroyspencer.com)
A lead author with the United Nations scientific body, Kevin Trenberth, also attending the conference, said the drying of southern Australia was consistent with global warming. "One of the things with global warming is that you have this increase in greenhouse gases and they provide a blanketing effect so there is more heat available. The heat has to go somewhere. Some of the heat goes into evaporation, into the drying of the land. Where it's not raining, things dry out quicker, droughts set in a little quicker and become more intense."
"A warmer atmosphere contains larger amounts of moisture which boosts the intensity of heavy downpours," said Dr Brian Soden, at the University of Miami.
Changes in heavy rainfall seem to keep pace with atmospheric moisture which rises by around 7 per cent for each ºC of warming. Based on computer models, this could mean an increase in the intensity of heavy rainfall of around 10 per cent by 2050.
However, the observed increase in extreme downpours appears to be larger than the increases predicted by current computer simulations, suggesting that predicted changes in rainfall due to global warming may be underestimated, either because of flawed measurements or because computer models lack some key understanding, for instance of the action of aerosol particles in the atmosphere. (source)
Gee, the science is really settled, ain't it?
Read it here.