Drought And The New Normal
The nation’s farmers are suffering through a drought that will lead to higher food prices for several years. But pretty soon, this may seem like the good old days.
These climate-model projections suggest that what we consider today to be an episode of severe drought might even be classified as a period of abnormal wetness by the end of the century and that a coming megadrought – a prolonged, multidecade period of significantly below-average precipitation – is possible and likely in the American West.
The current drought plaguing the country is worryingly consistent with these expectations. Although we do not attribute any single event to global warming, the severity of both the turn-of-the-century drought and the current one is consistent with simulations accounting for warming from increased greenhouse gases.
I continue to preach for reducing carbon emissions and doing what we can to limit climate change. But because we have waited so long, we also need to start planning for the consequences.