It is a 99% chance that the megadrought is going to hit the southwest part of America if warming conditions stay the same and the rainfall levels decline. The numbers state a 70 % risk of that happening if the levels of rain are going to rise. Other scientists believe that there is still a chance for this to be prevented. The risk drops to half if global temperatures rise with less than 2 degrees C.
California has been experiencing droughts for the last 6 years and there are costs of billions for this problem. Almost 60 % of California is now experiencing a megadrought.
The problem now is that this is just the beginning because in the near future climate change is making the risk of megadroughts even bigger. They are going to spread all over the southwest of America.
A megadrought means that a normal drought lasts more than 35 years. One of the worst megadroughts in the history was the Dust Bowl in the 1930’.
The areas that could be affected by these megadroughts are Nevada, California, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.
The primary factor that influences the appearance of the drought is the rising temperature. The rise in temperature evaporates all the water saved by the soil and this is how the droughts occur. This means that if the temperature is going to rise with 2 degrees the risk is low but if it is going to rise with 6 degrees, the chance for the megadroughts to occur are very high.
The scientists predict that the rise in temperature is going to hit 4 degrees in 2100.
If the temperature rises and the water and rainfall level lowers, it will affect the soil and the plants even more.
Other researchers showed that this planet has experienced other megadroughts in the last millennium. They had a natural cause unlike the ones now, that are human –caused. The part of America that is and is going to be the most affected is Southwest area.
The researchers say that the only hope is to reduce the greenhouse gasses the most we can and to try to avoid pollution in general. They mentioned that these measures should have started years ago in order to avoid the drought at all if possible.
Image source: Wikipedia