drought

Chronic drought, extreme weather patterns 'the new normal,' researchers say

Friday, August 03, 2012 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: drought, extreme weather, patterns

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
White House admits staging fake vaccination operation to gather DNA from the public
EXCLUSIVE: Natural News tests flu vaccine for heavy metals, finds 25,000 times higher mercury level than EPA limit for water
Irrefutable proof we are all being sprayed with poison: 571 tons of toxic lead 'chemtrailed' into America's skies every year
Truvia sweetener a powerful pesticide; scientists shocked as fruit flies die in less than a week from eating GMO-derived erythritol
Russia taking McDonald's to court, threatens countrywide shutdown
Why does the CDC own a patent on Ebola 'invention?'
Senator who attacked Doctor Oz over dietary supplements received over $146,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharma mega-retailer and Monsanto
Global warming data FAKED by government to fit climate change fictions
HOAX confirmed: Michelle Obama 'GMOs for children' campaign a parody of modern agricultural politics
Oregon man serving prison sentence for collecting rainwater on his own property
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
Ebola outbreak may already be uncontrollable; Monsanto invests in Ebola treatment drug company as pandemic spreads
Ben and Jerry's switches to non-GMO, Fair Trade ice cream ingredients
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women
Elliot Rodger, like nearly all young killers, was taking psychiatric drugs (Xanax)
Right to farm being stripped from Americans: Michigan to criminalize small family farms with chickens, goats, honey bees and more
Monsanto's seed imperialism halted in Canada thanks to massive protests
Delicious
(NaturalNews) Summer this year not quite the paradise you anticipated? Has the heat got you beat? Well, get used to it, say some researchers who claim that, based on key evidence, current climate conditions could become the "new normal."

A group of 10 researchers from Oregon State University, who published their recent findings in the journal Nature Geoscience, said their findings indicate that the western part of North America suffered a chronic drought from 2000-2004, which led to the death of some forests and caused river basins to dry up.

The period, which they said was the strongest drought in eight centuries, could become stereotypical in the coming years, while now could become "the good old days."

The researchers said such climatic extremes are the result of global warming, and that today's weather, decades from now, will seem moderate in comparison. Climate models and precipitation projections, the team said, indicate that the current period will be close to the "wet end" of an overall drier hydroclimate during the last half of the 21st century.

"Climatic extremes such as this will cause more large-scale droughts and forest mortality, and the ability of vegetation to sequester carbon is going to decline," said Beverly Law, a co-author of the study and a professor of global change biology and terrestrial systems science at Oregon State.

"During this drought, carbon sequestration from this region was reduced by half," she said. "That's a huge drop. And if global carbon emissions don't come down, the future will be even worse."

Drought conditions to stay the same, or worsen?

In addition to extreme damage wrought by the 2000-2004 drought on the environment, the researcher team said, it also managed to cut carbon sequestration by more than half across a large swath of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

It wasn't clear; however, if the current drought gripping the Midwest and surrounding regions - half of all U.S. counties have now been declared disaster areas by the Department of Agriculture because of high temperatures - is related to the same forces of nature, said Law. That's because her team's study did not address that potential relationship, and there are some climate mechanisms in North American that affect the Midwest more than other parts of the country.

But, she noted, her team cannot be certain about the western portion of the country. That's because tree-ring data show that the last two periods of similar drought conditions took place in the Middle Ages, from 977-981 and 1146-1151.

Law said ordinarily the land sink in North America is able to sequester about 30 percent of carbon emitted into the atmosphere as a result of the burning of fossil fuels in the same region. But based on projected precipitation changes and the severity of drought, some scientists believe that this carbon sink - a natural or artificial reservoir that accumulates and stores some carbon-containing chemical compound for an indefinite period - in the western part of North America could eventually disappear by the end of the century.

Those were the days...

"Areas that are already dry in the West are expected to get drier," said Law. "We expect more extremes. And it's these extreme periods that can really cause ecosystem damage, lead to climate-induced mortality of forests, and may cause some areas to convert from forest into shrublands or grassland."

The team said such effects are driven by human-caused activities, which increase global temperatures, and associated loss of soil moisture and decreased run-off in all major water basins in the western United States.

While regional precipitation patterns are difficult to forecast, the team's report said current climate models may be underestimating the extent and severity of drought. The researchers predict that in 80 of the 95 years, between 2006-2100, precipitation levels will be as low or lower than this "turn-of-the-century" drought from 2000-2004.

Towards the latter half of the 21st century the precipitation regime associated with the turn of the century drought will represent an outlier of extreme wetness," the team wrote in their study, adding long-term trends are consistent with a 21st century "megadrought."

Sources:

http://planetsave.com

http://newsroomamerica.com

http://www.naturalnews.com/drought.html

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.