What is a ‘Megadrought’?

September 3, 2014 1:52 AM

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What is a ‘Megadrought’?

The Western United States is currently experiencing a drought that scientists have to go back over eight centuries to match. The fierce drought that has raged in California for the last three years has led to devastating wildfires and water shortages that may carry dire consequences for agriculture and the ecosystem.

According to bioclimatologist Park Williams, “more area in the West has persistently been in drought during the past 15 years than in any other 15-year period since the 1150s and 1160s.” Williams, a professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in New York, classifies the ...

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