Claim: U.S. coal plant emissions caused 1980s African drought and the 1990 Air Act Amendments ended the drought

“New University of Washington research, to be published in Geophysical Research Letters, shows that the drought was caused at least in part by Northern Hemisphere air pollution.”

From a University of Washington media release:

Aerosols emanating from coal-burning factories in the United States and Europe during the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s cooled the entire Northern Hemisphere, shifting tropical rain bands south. Rains no longer reached the Sahel region, a band that spans the African continent just below the Sahara desert.

When clean-air legislation passed in the U.S. and Europe, the rain band shifted back, and the drought lessened.

8 thoughts on “Claim: U.S. coal plant emissions caused 1980s African drought and the 1990 Air Act Amendments ended the drought”

  1. Does this mean the aerosols and dust and coal emissions from China, where pollution controls are rudimentary at best, will be affecting the weather patterns in the U.S. in the coming years?

  2. We have had a great drought in the midwest. Could be related to Chinese Industry. Wait in the 70’s wasn’t Japan a large manufacturing complex. What happened here?

  3. So…. this would be “PROOF POSITIVIE”…. that legislation can control the weather!

    Wonderful, TOMORROW,… I call my Congressman and demand a Sunny Day! $10.00 say he’ll look at the Satelite feed, see its clear and grant my wish without going through the tedious debate and tenious voting process.

    YAHOO! I’ve already won, where do I send my contribution?????….

  4. Ahh, a study that proves partial causation from loose correlation. Hmmm. Myopic science lives.

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