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California and other Western states face worst drought in 1,000 years, say Columbia University scientists.
by Haya El Nasser
The United States’ drought-stricken Southwest and Great Plains should brace for the worst and most persistent drought in 1,000 years, according to a report out today by the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
The current extreme drought blanketing California and other parts of the West may be just the beginning. New research suggests that by 2050, the regions may enter the longest and driest period for a millennium — a product of natural weather cycles and man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
“The 21st century projections make [past] megadroughts seem like quaint walks through the Garden of Eden,” said Jason Smerdon, a co-author of the report and a climate scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, part of Columbia’s Earth Institute.
Megadroughts last at least 10 years. Some researchers believe a megadrought contributed to the decline of the…
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