Global warming is complicated, and often counter-intuitive, which is one reason most scientists prefer the phrase “climate change” to describe it. But whether you call it climate change or global warming, its complexity offers easy opportunities for rhetorical cheap shots to right-wing zealots such as Drudge, who would like the whole issue to go away. Yesterday his popular tabloid ran an item about how a House hearing on the "warming of the planet" had to be canceled due to freezing rain.
One problem with the irony: this kind of "precipitation event" is exactly the scenario scientists predict for a warming planet.
In a statement prepared before his testimony about climate change to the same House Committee on Science and Technology last week, leading climatologist Dr. Kevin Trenberth, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research warned:
A key ingredient in changes in character of precipitation is the observed increase in water vapor and thus supply of atmospheric moisture to all storms, increasing the intensity of precipitation events. Indeed, widespread increases in heavy precipitation events and risk of flooding have been observed, even in places where total amounts have decreased. Hence the frequency of heavy rain events has increased in most places but so too has episodic heavy snowfall events that are thus associated with warming.
Is it too much to ask Drudge to inform himself of the facts before spouting off? Evidently.