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Western drought caused by climate change is the worst in 1,200 years

Dried bottom of a lake with cracks on Lake Aroville during a drought in Aravil, California, USA, on Monday, October 11, 2021.

David Paul Morris Bloomberg | Getty Images

The great drought that has engulfed the American West has been the driest in two decades in the region in at least 1,200 years, and man-made climate change has fueled the problem, scientists said Monday.

In his study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, scientists analyzed droughts in southwestern North America since 800 and found that conditions in this century are more severe than the mega-drought of the late 1500s.

Researchers have also warned that drought conditions are likely to last until 2022 and last for years. A major drought is defined as a prolonged severe and intense drought that lasts two decades or more, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“Instead of dying out after the wet years of 2017 and 2019, the drought of the 2000s strengthened power in 2020-2021, making it clear that it is now as strong as before,” said A. Williams. , climatologist. at UCLA.

“There is no evidence that the drought of the 2000s is beginning to recede,” added Williams, who led the analysis, using tree ring data to study ancient drought records.

While the U.S. West will be in drought regardless of climate change, researchers estimate that 42% of drought severity can be attributed to higher temperatures due to greenhouse gas emissions that trap heat in the atmosphere.

According to American Drought Monitor, nearly 95% of the western United States is experiencing drought. Drought has already caused more intense forest fires across the region and declining water supply as water levels fall.

Lack of water on the Colorado River has led to the country’s two largest reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, sinking to the lowest levels ever recorded. And in 2020, the strongest fire season in the United States burned more than 10 million hectares

Federal officials last year ordered the first in history to cut off water for the Colorado River Basin, which affects water and electricity supplies to more than 40 million people in the West.

In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom residents were asked last year to reduce water consumption on farms by 15% against record temperatures. And water officials recently warned that California could face it third in a row dry year due to a significant lack of snow this year.

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Western drought caused by climate change is the worst in 1,200 years

Dried bottom of a lake with cracks on Lake Aroville during a drought in Aravil, California, USA, on Monday, October 11, 2021.

David Paul Morris Bloomberg | Getty Images

The great drought that has engulfed the American West has been the driest in two decades in the region in at least 1,200 years, and man-made climate change has fueled the problem, scientists said Monday.

In his study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, scientists analyzed droughts in southwestern North America since 800 and found that conditions in this century are more severe than the mega-drought of the late 1500s.

Researchers have also warned that drought conditions are likely to last until 2022 and last for years. A major drought is defined as a prolonged severe and intense drought that lasts two decades or more, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“Instead of dying out after the wet years of 2017 and 2019, the drought of the 2000s strengthened power in 2020-2021, making it clear that it is now as strong as before,” said A. Williams. , climatologist. at UCLA.

“There is no evidence that the drought of the 2000s is beginning to recede,” added Williams, who led the analysis, using tree ring data to study ancient drought records.

While the U.S. West will be in drought regardless of climate change, researchers estimate that 42% of drought severity can be attributed to higher temperatures due to greenhouse gas emissions that trap heat in the atmosphere.

According to American Drought Monitor, nearly 95% of the western United States is experiencing drought. Drought has already caused more intense forest fires across the region and declining water supply as water levels fall.

Lack of water on the Colorado River has led to the country’s two largest reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, sinking to the lowest levels ever recorded. And in 2020, the strongest fire season in the United States burned more than 10 million hectares

Federal officials last year ordered the first in history to cut off water for the Colorado River Basin, which affects water and electricity supplies to more than 40 million people in the West.

In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom residents were asked last year to reduce water consumption on farms by 15% against record temperatures. And water officials recently warned that California could face it third in a row dry year due to a significant lack of snow this year.

Reported by Source link

RELATED ARTICLES
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Most Popular