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Saturday, September 03, 2011
Aggie Joke : Dessler Thinks Weather Is Climate

By Steve Goddard

Paying the price for climate change

By Andrew Dessler

Texas Gov. Rick Perry stirred up controversy on the campaign trail recently when he dismissed the problem of climate change and accused scientists of basically making up the problem.

As a born-and-bred Texan, itís especially disturbing to hear this now, when our state is getting absolutely hammered by heat and drought. Iíve got to wonder how any resident of Texas - and particularly the governor who not so long ago was asking us to pray for rain - can be so cavalier about climate change.

As a climate scientist at Texas A&M University, I can also tell you from the data that the current heat wave and drought in Texas is so bad that calling it “extreme weather” does not do it justice. July was the single hottest month in the observational record, and the 12 months that ended in July were drier than any corresponding period in the record.

I know that climate change does not cause any specific weather event. But I also know that humans have warmed the climate over the past century, and that this warming has almost certainly made the heat wave and drought more extreme than it would otherwise have been.

I am not alone in these views. There are dozens of atmospheric scientists at Texas institutions such as Rice, the University of Texas and Texas A&M, and none of them dispute the mainstream scientific view of climate change.

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I did grad school at Rice, and (apparently unlike some Aggies) I know how to search the Internet. Horrific droughts and heatwaves have been hitting Texas for as long as there has been a Texas. See the post which includes many examples.

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The mid 1950s multi year drought - animates on real Science.

There has been no trend in Texas temperatures since records began in 1895. Dessler has no factual basis for his claim of warming. One hot summer is not climate - it is just weather.

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Posted on 09/03 at 08:54 AM
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