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Rain & Shine: Water Part 1

Kori Stanton

Water is life. It is what makes life possible on Earth and here in the west we are very vulnerable to how much water we get or don't get. Our area is in what scientists call a “megadrought”; a period of drought that extends for over a decade. And this one is the longest on record.


Our region is experiencing what scientists call a “megadrought”—an extended period of drought that lasts over a decade. A new study published in Science in April 2020 demonstrates how global warming has “pushed what would have been a moderate drought in southern North America into a megadrought” and shows that, “the period from 2000 - 2018 was the driest 19-year spance since the last 1500s and the second driest since 800 CE.“ Moreover, the study points to the fact that, unlike megadroughts in the past, due to global warming, this one is likely to continue to exacerbate the extreme drought conditions in the future. 

Meanwhile, climate modeling from the UK’s National Environment Research Council 30 climate change experiments that use 13 state-of-the-art climate simulators which were built by hundreds of scientists over many years, shows that global warming is causing the drying out of the drier regions around the world, while wet regions are receiving, and will continue to receive more rainfall.


Large contribution from anthropogenic warming to an emerging North American megadrought; Science  17 Apr 2020: Vol. 368, Issue 6488, pp. 314-318. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaz9600

Wetter regions getting wetter, drier regions drier as planet warms. Natural Environment Research Council’s PAGODA and PREPARE projects.