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(Climate Science) – This year, the popular music festival Burning Man, which is held in the Black Rock Desert area of Nevada, was interrupted by a rainstorm that left many participants stranded. Wired and The Conversation, among other media outlets, attributed the rain storm, as well as the heat wave the area experienced a few weeks prior, to human-caused climate change. This is false. The recent rains were made more intense by the aftermath of hurricane Hilary, and neither “monsoon” rains, nor heatwaves, are an unprecedented or even rare in the region.
In a story posted by Wired, “Climate Change Has Finally Come for Burning Man,” contributor Chris Stokel-Walker writes that the downpour that trapped many festival-goers was caused by climate change. He wrote:
Extreme weather wrought by climate change, which is resulting in increasing amounts of rain being dumped on the southwestern US states at this time of year. “These sorts of heavy summer rainfall events in the region are expected, as the well-known southwestern summer monsoon is expected to yield larger amounts of rainfall in a warming climate,” says Michael Mann, presidential distinguished professor in the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Earth and Environmental Science.
A piece in The Conversation took a more balanced approach, pointing out that bad weather striking a festival isn’t new…