Climate change could lead to decades of megadroughts in the U.S., study says. Global warming has increased the risk of such extreme events, researchers led by Mohammad Reza Alizadeh of McGill University and Mojtaba Sadegh of Boise State University explain in the scientific journal Science Advances. Such long periods of drought also occurred in the USA in the 12. and 13. century.
Since the middle of August some fires rage at the US west coast. In California alone, some 19,000.000 firefighters against more than 20 large fires. The flames destroyed more than 5800 buildings since mid-August.
Heat waves and drought
As climate change progresses, extreme events such as heat waves and droughts are occurring more frequently at the same time, the researchers explain. Their study focuses on this co-occurrence of drought and heat over the past 122 years. "Episodes of extreme drought and heat are the recipe for major forest fires", explained Mojtaba Sadegh. "These extremes are intensifying and expanding on an unprecedented spatial scale, enabling the current wildfires along the entire U.S. West Coast."