Recent modeling work (Schubert et al. 2004a,b, Seager et al. 2005) has claimed that the Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s was forced by small changes in tropical SSTs, essentially several persistent years of La Niña-like conditions in the Pacific and a warm subtropical North Atlantic Ocean, both of which are assumed to have had natural origins. If this is so then it means that, had the SSTs been known in advance, it would have been possible to predict that the drought was to occur and, perhaps, the environmental and social catastrophe of the Dust Bowl could have been ameliorated.
If Columbia University knows that the Dust Bowl was caused by similar conditions in the 1930s, why is James Hansen blaming the current heat and drought on CO2?
Empirical evidence does not lend much support to the notion that climate is headed precipitately toward more extreme heat and drought. The drought of 1999 covered a smaller area than the 1988 drought, when the Mississippi almost dried up. And 1988 was a temporary inconvenience as compared with repeated droughts during the 1930s “Dust Bowl” that caused an exodus from the prairies, as chronicled in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath…..
in the U.S. there has been little temperature change in the past 50 years, the time of rapidly increasing greenhouse gases — in fact, there was a slight cooling throughout much of the country
James Hansen – 1999