MP Pete Hodgson once said of the Manawatu flood event 'If this isn't climate change, then this is exactly what it looks like.'
What is striking in this new report is that it exposes bare that we are doing this to ourselves. While last Mondays Water Wars "Hot Science" debate at the James Hay Theater [Christchurch Town Hall meeting attended by more than 1000 concerned citizens] hinted at climate variability, it lacked robust debate centered around the core issue of climate change and linkages to energy (electricity demand by irrigation) and bovine methane forcing. In this regard, the science wasn't even warm.
The results show that climate change has had a detectable influence on observed changes in average precipitation within latitudinal bands, and that these changes cannot be explained by internal climate variability or natural forcing.
The observed changes, which are larger than estimated from model simulations, may have already had significant effects on ecosystems, agriculture and human health in regions that are sensitive to changes in precipitation
“Detection of human influence on twentieth-century precipitation trends”; Xuebin Zhang, Francis W. Zwiers, Gabriele C. Hegerl, F. Hugo Lambert, Nathan P. Gillett, Susan Solomon, Peter A. Stott & Toru Nozawa; Nature advance online publication 23 July 2007 | doi:10.1038/nature06025