2015-02-12. NASA Study Finds Carbon Emissions Could Dramatically Increase Risk of U.S. Megadroughts.

posted Feb 19, 2015, 12:14 PM by Alan Gould
NASA RELEASE 15-020. For GSS Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt: ...Droughts in the U.S. Southwest and Central Plains during the last half of this century could be drier and longer than drought conditions seen in those regions in the last 1,000 years, according to a new NASA study...published Thursday in the journal Science Advances.... "Natural droughts like the 1930s Dust Bowl and the current drought in the Southwest have historically lasted maybe a decade or a little less," said Ben Cook, climate scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in New York City, and lead author of the study. "What these results are saying is we're going to get a drought similar to those events, but it is probably going to last at least 30 to 35 years." ...the current likelihood of a megadrought, a drought lasting more than three decades, is 12 percent. If greenhouse gas emissions stop increasing in the mid-21st century, ...the likelihood of megadrought [could] reach more than 60 percent. However, if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase along current trajectories throughout the 21st century, there is an 80 percent likelihood of a decades-long megadrought in the Southwest and Central Plains between the years 2050 and 2099....  http://www.nasa.gov/press/2015/february/nasa-study-finds-carbon-emissions-could-dramatically-increase-risk-of-us/.
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