NASA say a drought like no other we have seen in the past 1000 years is due to hit the western part of the United States if greenhouse gas emissions keep going the way they are.
— NASA GISS (@NASAGISS) February 13, 2015
Those regions have suffered severe drought in recent years. But it doesn’t compare in the slightest to the ‘megadroughts’ likely to hit them before the century is over due to global warming.
These will be epochal, worthy of a chapter in Earth’s natural history.
Even if emissions drop moderately, droughts in those regions will get much worse than they are now, NASA said.
The space agency’s study conjures visions of the sun scorching cracked earth that is baked dry of moisture for feet below the surface, across vast landscapes, for decades. Great lake reservoirs could dwindle to ponds, leaving cities to ration water to residents who haven’t fled east.
“Our projections for what we are seeing is that, with climate change, many of these types of droughts will likely last for 20, 30, even 40 years,” said NASA climate scientist Ben Cook.