'Megadrought' threatens U.S. Southwest, Plains in decades to come: study

February 13, 2015 11:05 PM

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(Reuters) - The U.S. Southwest and Central Plains regions are likely to be scorched by a decades-long "megadrought" in the second half of this century if climate change continues unabated, scientists from NASA and Cornell and Columbia universities have warned.

In a study published by the journal Science Advances on Thursday, the researchers forecast that future drought risk in the area is likely to exceed even the driest conditions experienced during extensive Medieval-era periods that have been dubbed "megadroughts."

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