Is climate change to blame for worst US drought in 5 years?
- Created Apr 14, 2012
The United States is suffering from its worst drought in five years. The Southeast and Texas have been hardest hit, but almost every state in the US has felt the effects of decreasing rainfall. Is climate change to blame, or is America just going through a normal weather cycle?
Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology believe there is a connection between the growing US drought and climate change.
"Drought frequencies and uncertainties in their projection tend to increase considerably over time and show a strong worsening trend along higher greenhouse gas emissions scenarios…" according to an MIT study.
While some parts of the US would suffer from drought more severely than others, the study predicted "very substantial" and almost universal "increases in drought risk by 2050."
Drought not only effects crop growth and livestock, it also sparks deadly wildfires, particularly during the hot summer months in warmer southern states. However, that could change if extreme drought conditions continue to spread.
"Only two states — Ohio and Alaska — are entirely free of abnormally dry or drought conditions, according to the Drought Monitor," USA Today reports.
Northeast Regional Climate Center climatologist Keith Eggleston said, "Conditions are starting to worry us now."