A group of scientists from US space agency NASA and Columbia and Cornell universities have cautioned against a decades-long “megadrought” in the US Central Plains and Southwest regions during the second half of this century if the pace of climate change continues unabatedly.
According to the researchers’ predictions, the risk future drought conditions in the regions is likely to be more severe and exceed even the already witnessed driest conditions during Medieval-era periods, which have been called “megadroughts”.
In the article, the researchers wrote that they see an 80 percent chance of an extended drought conditions from 2050 to 2099 unless some more aggressive initiatives are not taken to combat the adverse impacts of degrading climatic scenario.
The scientists further wrote, “Ultimately, the consistency of our findings indicates an exceptionally high risk of a megadrought that may be multi-decadal, and a level of aridity exceeding even the persistent megadroughts that characterized the Medieval era.”
The researchers said their findings signal toward a significantly drier future, which serves a substantial challenge for the mankind as it “falls far outside the contemporary experience of natural and human systems in Western North America.”
The researchers noted that as the number of people living in the US Southwest and Central Plains as well as the requirement of water volume had significantly rose over recent decades, the drier conditions ahead are tend to pose serious challenges.
The findings of the study were published on Thursday in the journal Science Advances.