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High Chances Of Megadrought In Southwest

Update Date: Sep 02, 2014 08:36 AM EDT
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Southwest region of the U.S. may experience megadrought, which may last for over 30 years, according to a new study. 

Researchers, in the study revealed that global warming may take a toll on the Southwest area of the U.S. as there are about 20 percent to 50 percent chances of megadrought in the next century. 

Till mid-August this year, California experienced severe drought and climatologists are not sure if the condition is going to improve in near term. The research noted that the extreme condition in Southwest U.S. is just a preview of how global warming can be harsh on climatic changes on Earth. 

"For the southwestern U.S., I'm not optimistic about avoiding real megadroughts," said Toby Ault, Cornell assistant professor of earth and atmospheric sciences and lead author of the paper, in the press release. "As we add greenhouse gases into the atmosphere - and we haven't put the brakes on stopping this - we are weighting the dice for megadrought conditions."

Ault added that states in the west and Southwest U.S. should understand the long-term effects of the megadrought and draw strategies to cope with them. 

According to Ault, the megadrought may be the worst people have ever witnessed in the last 2,000 years. 

"We're incredibly adaptive, adaptable creatures. As Americans we don't give up easily. I'm very optimistic there are solutions out there that we can plan and make them work," Ault added.

The study will be published in the upcoming issue of the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate.

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