As we rip bone-dry fields and neighbors pause to debate applying NH3, the faint memory of drought and the mysterious "Bermuda high" came tumbling back into my thoughts. It could be worrying about our well here at house helped trigger this speculation.
Anyhoo, this may be just another aspect of climate change from global warming that was predicted by ag climatologists.
A new study by a Duke University-led team of climate scientists suggests that global warming is the main cause of a significant intensification in the North Atlantic Subtropical High (NASH) that in recent decades has more than doubled the frequency of abnormally wet or dry summer weather in the southeastern United States.
It is back-to-back episodes of heavy rain and drought that has me most concerned about how to prepare our farm. To be sure we have been tiling like crazy (BTW - plastic tile is hard to get around here), but the on-off nature of rain the last 3 years is growing tiresome.
The NASH, commonly referred to as the Bermuda High, is an area of high pressure that forms each summer near Bermuda, where its powerful surface center helps steer Atlantic hurricanes and plays a major role in shaping weather in the eastern United States, Western Europe and northwestern Africa.
By analyzing six decades of U.S. and European weather and climate data, the Duke-led team found that the center of the NASH intensified by 0.9 geopotential meters a decade on average from 1948 to 2007. (Geopotential meters are used to measure how high above sea level a pressure system extends; the greater the height, the greater the intensity.)
The team’s analysis found that as the NASH intensified, its area enlarged, bringing the high’s weather-making western ridge closer to the continental United States by 1.22 longitudinal degrees a decade.
“This is not a natural variation like El Nino,” says lead author Wenhong Li, assistant professor of earth and ocean sciences at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. “We thoroughly investigated possible natural causes, including the Atlantic Multivariate Oscillation (AMO) and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), which may affect highs, but found no links.
“Our analysis strongly suggests that the changes in the NASH are mainly due to anthropogenic warming,” she says. [More]
Frankly, I think it will continue to be a massive marketing headache for seed and biotech companies, as the traits don't sem to add much value if the borers are extinct and the rootworms drown.All the drought-tolerance in the world won't help a plant underwater during May and June. DAMHIKT.
Luckily, we're soon to be legislatively freed from any climate change problem. But just in case, that doesn't work, I think I'll have a backup plan.
[Update: for help with the idea of "geopotential meters" this is the best I could do. And I'm still pretty vague.]