Study: Climate Change Intensified Drought in CaliforniaDaniel McCarthy (Author) Published Date : Aug 25, 2015 00:39 IST
Researchers said there is new evidence that climate change will produce the driest conditions in the western United States in the last 1,000 years, as an increase in temperatures exacerbates the drought conditions across the region. Because effects from climate change have been spread across the globe it is not just that our air is warmer, but a host of other factors in the environment such as rainfall and evaporation rates it can be difficult to pin down what human factors contributed to a specific event like the drought in California.
The study s lead author hopes this research helps to illustrate a need for new resilient solutions to the long-term problem that climate change represents.
The study, said that average California temperatures have increased 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 113 years.
Researchers analyzed climate data prepared month to month from 1901 to 2014 to find any fluctuations in temperature, humidity, precipitation and wind.
The study says the drought s root cause is the existence of a persistent high atmosphere pressure ridge that is blocking any wet weather from reaching the Central Valley of California.
If greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans were not trapping in heat, the drought in the state could be as much as 27% less severe than it actually is, said researchers.
It is clear that the warming trend in California has raised the probability of conditions, which cause drought.
Even though the study s findings have suggested that the current drought in California is primarily derived of natural climate variability, scientists added that any likelihood of a drought reaching the acute stage is increasing due to climate change.
Melting is accelerating, the snowpack is not forming, helping make the warm months that much drier according to a separate group of researchers.
California s lawmakers have enacted water restrictions over the past four years that affect water usage for farmers and other citizens across the parched region.
Study: Climate Change Intensified Drought in California