“MegaDrought” Now a Possibility in California

California Drought


[media-credit name=”Flickr” align=”aligncenter” width=”300″]Drought[/media-credit]Sure your uncle keeps posting that global warming is bullshit on his Facebook posts.  And though his years of working as a cable tv repairman clearly make him qualified to properly asses the state of the earth’s climate, scientists who have spent their lives studying things feel a bit differently.

A study by Cornell, University of Arizona and U.S. Geological Survey researchers will be published in an upcoming issue of the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate. This study has some bad news for the drought in California. According to Phys.org the study will show:

Due to global warming, scientists say, the chances of the southwestern United States experiencing a decadelong drought is at least 50 percent, and the chances of a “megadrought” – one that lasts up to 35 years – ranges from 20 to 50 percent over the next century.

“For the southwestern U.S., I’m not optimistic about avoiding real megadroughts,” said Toby Ault, Cornell assistant professor of earth and atmospheric sciences and lead author of the paper. “As we add greenhouse gases into the atmosphere – and we haven’t put the brakes on stopping this – we are weighting the dice for megadrought.”

While the 1930s Dust Bowl in the Midwest lasted four to eight years, depending upon location, a megadrought can last more than three decades, which could lead to mass population migration on a scale never before seen in this country.

Bottom line: While “Megadrought” will surely be the name of an Ian Ziering Syfy movie by December (that I am sure your Uncle will enjoy), if you happen to live in California just be nice to your in-laws back east. You may need to crash on their couch (and drink their water!) for the next 35 years.