NASA, Researchers: US Headed for Devastating ‘Mega-Drought’

Saturday, February 14, 2015
By Paul Martin

The United States is headed for a major drought in the next few decades, one that will make Americans nostalgic for the droughts already wreaking havoc in the western regions of the country.

In their report titled “Unprecedented 21st century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains,” researchers from the space agency, Cornell University and Columbia University predicted a weather shift in 20150 that would bring a drought of a level not seen in 1,000 years. That would increase the number of massive wildfires and exacerbate water shortages already plaguing the region.

They added that climate change is behind the severity of the impending drought.

“I was honestly surprised at just how dry the future is likely to be,” study coauthor Toby R. Ault told a press conference this week. “I look at these future mega-droughts like a slow-moving natural disaster. We have to put mega-droughts into the same category as other natural disasters that can be dealt with through risk management.”

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