The Texas state climatologist, John Nielsen-Gammon of Texas A&M University, has been saying for some time now that a La Niña weather pattern is the main reason for the drought, but that man-made global warming has made it more severe – just as it will aggravate future droughts, according to a story at Texas Climate News:
Here’s how he expressed that judgment in August to Texas Climate News:
It’s clear … that when Texas is in a drought, global warming will make it worse. Higher temperatures lead to more evaporation during a drought, more rapid drying of the soil, and perhaps a stronger feedback loop whereby the dry weather prevents thunderstorms and perpetuates the drought during the summer. At the same time, more evaporation and more population means greater water demand and larger reductions in streamflow and inflow to reservoirs. So global warming has already amplified the impacts of the current drought.
Now, Nielsen-Gammon, named as state climatologist by then-Gov. George W. Bush, has elaborated on that conclusion in considerable technical detail on his Houston Chronicle-hosted blog, Climate Abyss.
Describing this detailed discussion as “preliminary,” Nielsen-Gammon said he has concluded that human-caused warming attributed to increasing emissions of greenhouse gases accounted for about a half-degree F – just shy of a tenth – of the extra heat Texas experienced from June through August. MORE