Southwest and Central Plains in the USA might suffer “Unprecedented drought conditions” in the later part of this century, say researchers. California recently experienced drought. However, the upcoming calamity will be far worse that might last for years. Scientists believe that the megadrought will be the worst in past 1000 years.
“Nearly every year is going to be dry toward the end of the 21st century compared to what we think of as normal conditions now,” said study lead author Benjamin Cook, a NASA atmospheric scientist. “We’re going to have to think about a much drier future in western North America.”
NASA researcher observed the average temperature in the country. Last year the country witnessed highest average temperature, following the trends there are more than 80 percent chances that south-west states of US will suffer drought that will last for more than 35 years. Scientists also took account on ever increasing carbon emission and conducted several complex simulations for the research.
The study found that groundwater recharge will decrease by nearly 5 percent each year due to thinning of forests that will also play a crucial role in the upcoming calamity. Drought will not only reduce ground water recharge but will also decrease surface water supplies, forcing the people to draw more water from the ground.
The drought will affect the agriculture severely resulting in food price rise. “Our cities will survive, our industries will survive, but our agricultural systems are going to be devastated. And probably, unless we’re smart, our ecosystems will be devastated,” says Peter Gleick, president and co-founder of the Pacific Institute, which focuses on water-resource issues.
Researchers warned that if some aggressive steps including reducing carbon emission, water harvesting, restoring forests, etc. to prevent the drought aren’t executed now then the megadrought would affect the economy badly.