Megadrought in the Southwest: LA Times vs NYT

Let me point out how different the same study can look to different reporters in different arenas. Bettina Boxall, the Pulitzer Prize-winning LA Times reporter, looks at California in her big front-page story a week ago about long-term drought in California and SoCal, and finds little change in rainfall but substantial change in human behaviorContinue reading “Megadrought in the Southwest: LA Times vs NYT”

“Ominous” news: CA faces megadrought

In a major study released today by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, scientists identify a climactic mechanism that increasingly appears to be blocking the kinds of storms that carry the most rain and snow from reaching California and the Southwest. From NCAR’s press release: “For the study, the researchers analyzed 35 years of dataContinue reading ““Ominous” news: CA faces megadrought”

Megadrought in SW by 2050: news shocks climatologist

Like many other Americans, I have had difficult absorbing the recently published news that megadroughts are scheduled into the future for the Southwest. Just did not want to hear that, read that, learn the details. But because I intend to go back to the Mojave this weekend, after being foiled last weekend, I forced myself to readContinue reading “Megadrought in SW by 2050: news shocks climatologist”

21st century megadrought in the West

A new climatic projection for the western states and northern Mexico looks at drought over the past 1200 years and out to 2100. A graph from the study at Nature Geoscience tells the story best, as usual: Here's the caption, slightly edited:  Reconstructed summer PDSI [Palmer Drought Severity Index] from 800 to 2006, five-year mean.Continue reading “21st century megadrought in the West”

SoCal Megadroughts and Megafires: Caused by Climate Change?

On an insufferably hot Santa Ana condition day in SoCal, it’s worth asking if the fire season we face this year is directly linked to the lack of rain we’ve experienced for the last three years, and, more broadly, from the “megadrought” identified by numerous researchers this century. Here’s what that long-term drought looks likeContinue reading “SoCal Megadroughts and Megafires: Caused by Climate Change?”