Severe Drought Intensity Concerns on the Rise in the United States
“Climate change made a southwestern U.S. drought one of the worst in 1,200 years” is the title of a Science News article run this past Spring. Their writing centers upon a study which finds that what was once a modest drought in the southwestern section of the United States had attained ‘megadrought’ designation thanks to global warming.
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions’ most recent posting on drought and climate change states that which might be considered a foregone conclusion by many – namely how climate change can bring about worsening drought situations throughout the United States as well as the rest of the world for decades to come. Of course it’s not merely about drought for drought’s sake, but the increasing prevalence of wildfires as well as the ability to contain them in the midst of a region affected by drought.
Climate change increases the odds of worsening drought in many parts of the United States and the world in the decades ahead. Regions such as the U.S. Southwest are at particular risk.
Over at GlobalChange.gov one finds the National Climate Assessment section on the Southwest portion of North America. The word “drought’ comes up 27 times within that page – all discussing climate change’s effect on drought.
But it’s not just the southwest segment of the country to be concerned with.
The Press Herald in Portland, Maine has a recent write-up titled, “Drought conditions have spread to entire state, weather service says”. The article states that the last time the state was experiencing this widespread and severe of a drought was in 2002.
We had a look at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s related site which features the United States Drought Monitor furnished by their The National Drought Mitigation Center. The US archive map there shows a state-wide moderate to severe drought intensity which lasted from the fourth quarter of 2001 to the middle of May 2002.
A good portion of Maine suffered through Extreme Drought Intensity from the middle of December 2001 to the end of March 2002.
Other northeastern states going through severe drought at the moment include New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
A search online reveals parts of the country experiencing severe drought for the first time in years whereas other areas are preparing for what’s in store from the dryness they’re experiencing.