The southwestern United States and neighboring Mexico’s areas have been facing extreme drought since the beginning of the new millennium. According to scientists, this is the worst continuous drought in this part of the world in the last 1,200 years.
Drought in the Southwestern United States
The southwestern United States is suffering the worst continuous drought since 800, says a new study published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change. The study focused on soil moisture research, annual rings of trees, and wooden beams discovered in this area by archaeologists. Research shows that the last similarly extreme drought appeared in the mid-16th century.
According to research leader Park Williams of the University of California, Los Angeles, the current situation is partly due to human activity. “The 21st-century drought would not have become a mega-dry without anthropogenic climate change,” said Associate Professor Williams.
The year 2021 Faced a Drastic Shortage of Water
California and other US states have repeatedly faced drastic water shortages in this area. As a result, the states have to force to restrict water use, and in some places, they have to import water. Although there are occasional gusts of snow or rain in this area, this does not compensate for the loss of water resources.
According to the US government agency Drought Monitor, 2021 was a particularly dry year. Conditions classifiable as drought prevailed throughout almost the western United States. as of February 10. Last summer, the drought caused a record drop in lakes, reservoirs, and rivers to their lowest levels in more than 100 years.
Williams’ team created a simulation-based on soil moisture data over the last 1,200 years. The result says a roughly 75% chance that the megadrought in the southwestern United States will last until the end of the decade. In addition to virtually constant water shortages, there are extensive crop and livestock losses, more frequent deadly heatwaves, floods, and superstorms.
source and credit: www.nature.com/articles/s41558-022-01290-z, fetatured photo: unsplash.com/photos/HxxmKwvUbgI