Category: Drought_MN

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Western ‘Megadrought’ Is the Worst in 1,200 Years

By Chelsea Harvey Photo: Justin Sullivan , Getty Images

The searing “megadrought” that has gripped the southwest U.S. for more than two decades is the driest 22-year period in at least 1,200 years. The region hasn’t seen a more severe drought since the start of the scientific record around the year 800, according to new research published yesterday.


Study finds Western megadrought is the worst in 1,200 years

By Nathan Rott Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR/NPR

Shrunk reservoirs. Depleted aquifers. Low rivers. Raging wildfires. It’s no secret that the Western U.S. is in a severe drought. New research published Monday shows just how extreme the situation has become.


Proposed ballot measure to build more California dams, desalination projects likely to be withdrawn due to lack of money and signatures

By Paul Rogers Photo: Andrew Innerarity

Despite California’s drought, a proposed statewide November ballot measure to speed up the construction of new dams and other large water projects — and provide billions of dollars to fund them — has fallen short in its fundraising goals and is likely to be withdrawn by early next week.


Climate change fuels a water rights conflict built on over a century of broken promises

By Nick Kirkpatrick and others

The simple way to think about this crisis: There’s no longer enough water to go around to meet the needs of farmers and Native American populations as well as fish and birds.


Cloud seeding gains steam as West faces worsening droughts

By Maddie Stone Photo: David Bogie/Idaho Power Company

As the first winter storms rolled through this month, a King Air C90 turboprop aircraft contracted by the hydropower company Idaho Power took to the skies over southern Idaho to make it snow.


California records driest year in a century

By Laura Anaya-Morga Photo: Brian van der Brug

In a year of both extreme heat and extreme drought, California has reported its driest water year in terms of precipitation in a century, and experts fear the coming 12 months could be even worse. The Western Regional Climate Center added average precipitation that had been reported at each of its stations and calculated that a total of 11.87 inches of rain and snow fell in California in the 2021 water year. That’s half of what experts deem average during a water year in California: about 23.58 inches.


In Arizona, Drought Ignites Tensions and Threatens Traditions Among the Hopi

By Simon Romero Photo: Tomás Karmelo Amaya

On the bone-dry plateau where the Hopi people have lived for well over a thousand years, Robinson Honani pulled his truck to the side of a dirt road and pointed to a carcass. “This is where the cows come to die,” Mr. Honani, manager of the Hopi Office of Range Management, said one morning in September as he spotted the remains nearby of another bovine decaying under the sun. It was at least the 10th dead cow Hopi range officials had found in recent weeks.


Even small additional increases in greenhouse gases will make decades-long “megadroughts” in the Southwest more common

By Michon Scott and Rebecca Lindsey

At the dawn of the 21st century, drought descended on southwestern North America. Two decades later, the drought continues. Recent NOAA-funded research found that even small additional increases in greenhouse gas emissions will make such decades-long “megadroughts” more common. But limiting greenhouse gas emissions will reduce the intensity of megadrought by reducing the risk of the most intense single-year droughts that occur within the longer period.


Climate Scientists Forecast High Temperatures Into the Fall

By Henry Fountain Photo: Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

After a summer of blistering heat across much of the country, the hotter-than-normal conditions that have contributed to severe drought across the West are forecast to continue into the fall, scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday.


‘Drought is the norm:’ California’s water crisis becomes perpetual

By Kumail Afshar and Siena Swift Photo: Shutter Theory

California residents are used to drought conditions, with shorter showers encouraged by teachers and conservationists, ads paid for by the state supporting abstaining from watering lawns and rainy days few and far between.

But 5C students returning to the Golden State this year are finding the situation has only worsened. Droughts are long periods of time without significant rainfall, often accompanied by drying up rivers, toughening soil and early snowmelts.