We already know that climate change leads to lots of problems for planet Earth – global and ocean warming, as well as extreme weather, among others. According to a new study published in Science, megadrought is heading towards North America. Researchers warned that vast regions of Mexico and the USA could be hit by drought soon.
Megadrought to Hit North America Soon
The scientists reviewed the precipitation levels and compared them with soil moisture samples. The analysis revealed that, almost undoubtedly, North America is heading towards a rough period regarding the climate.
“Earlier studies were largely model projections of the future. We’re no longer looking at projections, but at where we are now. We now have enough observations of current drought and tree-ring records of past drought to say that we’re on the same trajectory as the worst prehistoric droughts,” explained Park Williams from Columbia University.
The scientists identified four megadrought episodes in the past. However, the drought between 2000 and 2018 was more significant than three of those, and almost reached the level of the fourth one that took place in the 16th century.
Global Warming Is the Culprit
According to the recent study, climate change is the culprit for the forthcoming megadrought and, as well, as for those droughts that recently hit several regions of the world.
“It doesn’t matter if this is exactly the worst drought ever. What matters is that it has been made much worse than it would have been because of climate change,” added Benjamin Cook from Columbia University.
In history, as scientists believe, massive droughts were due to ocean cooling and other natural factors. That’s not the case with those episodes that have occurred since the industrialization. Human impact on the climate is, most likely, the factor.
And, even though the 20th century enjoyed lots of precipitations, that led people to lessen water supply measures. “The 20th century gave us an overly optimistic view of how much water is potentially available. It goes to show that studies like this are not just about ancient history. They’re about problems that are already here,” such as the possible megadrought, said Cook.