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A new model of climate change

100 years from now: Model predicts redder areas will warm the most.

100 years from now: Model predicts bluer areas will get more precipitation.

First of all, I think it’s good to maintain a healthy skepticism about computer models of climate change far into the future. With a model of a system as complex as the earth’s climate, many assumptions have to be made and calibrated, and there is never enough data. Also, I can’t let go of the personal opinion that current models give too little weight to solar variance.

On the other hand, global warming is impossible to deny. Before I made the decision to leave California and move back to North Carolina, I spent a good bit of time looking for climate predictions at the state-by-state level. I never found any. The only thing that seemed clear was that climate scientists expected storms off the oceans to become more severe.

The Nature Conservancy and the University of Washington have put their model, Climate Wizard, on line. Good news for North Carolina: It’s ranked near the bottom (46th) on the getting-hotter scale state by state. The prediction for North Carolina also is for more, rather than less, rain as the climate changes.

But there is bad news for all of us who are fond of eating. The Midwest and California, on which we rely for so much of our food, are predicted by this model to get hotter and drier.

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