That’s the theory emerging from young researcher Jacob Sewall, now at the University of Virginia, as explained in this thoughtful story from Rob Krier. I hope to have a chance to take a long look for myself at this question.
Three years ago, computer forecast models predicted that in 2050, the
reduced ice mass would cause climate shifts that would result in a
drought in the western United States.
But the ice is melting far faster than climatologists thought it would.
So much ice has disappeared that the Arctic today looks much
like what scientists thought it would in 2050. It’s as if the
atmosphere hit the fast-forward button.
The predicted climate changes also may have arrived, with much
of the West in the midst of the kind of severe drought that
geoscientist Jacob Sewall had envisioned for 2050.
Here’s a helpful graphic from NASA on the disappearing sea ice, without any confusing features, such as large land masses in the Arctic.
One thought on “Could a Lack of Arctic Ice Bring Drought to Southwest?”
“The average person should start thinking seriously about where their water comes from now, what they’re doing with it, and where the water will come from in 10 to 20 years,” he said.
Barnett, the Scripps researcher, said the West’s drought, no matter what its cause, has not received enough attention.
“I don’t know why people don’t take it more seriously,” he said. “We’re not going to have enough water for what we’re doing. Nobody’s facing up to it.”