West America is threatened by super-droughts spanning over long periods of time, starting with 2050, as per recent expert reports. The most recent projection regarding Southwest and Great Plains, distributed online in the new diary Science Advances, is very different from other late forecasts that report more instability about future dry spells, as indicated by the study authors.
The scientists relied on historic tree ring information and three dry season measures to establish that there is at least an 80% possibility of a 35-year-long dry spell taking place before this century is over.
Lead study creator Benjamin Cook, a climatologist at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies noted:
“ Imagine a naturally occurring drought, such as the one occurring in California … imagine that going on for decades … that’s kind of a mega-drought”.
Cook and his co- researchers- Toby Ault, a geoscientist from Cornell and Jason Smerdon, a climate researcher at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory – presented their study at a San Jose video conference this week.
Even if numerous researchers concur that California’s present drought is the consequence of natural environmental dynamics and not of global warming, Cook and his partners contended that human-made nursery gasses are significantly contributing to the risk of future dry spells.
Increased temperatures, low precipitation and expanded rates of dissipation would bring about drier soils, they emphasized. The scientists also said their model was based on anticipated emissions, and that decreasing those emissions could also reduce future drying. Toby Ault mentioned:
“We’re not necessarily locked into these levels of mega-drought risk if we slow the effects of rising greenhouse gas on global temperatures.”
Lengthy and severe of dry seasons have impacted Southern California and a significant part of the western United States previously, but this was way ahead of the US founding.
As per the researchers, paleo- climatic proof recommends that severe drought periods took place in the same area from the ninth to the fourteenth century, a period now dubbed the Medieval Climate Anomaly. Cook and his team noted that future drought will likely surpass that of the Medieval Anomaly.
The authors further pointed out that the results of their study suggest a severe drier future, unlike anything humankind has experienced in the region in the recorded history. Consequently, say the researchers, these conditions pay pose significant challenges in terms of adaptability. The authors referred to the fact that in the last decades the population in the area was grown rapidly and so have its water needs and this current trend is unsustainable in light of the forecasted droughts.
Image Source: The Independent