Weather patterns in the southwestern part of the United States are changing from moisture states to drier climate states, according to a new federally funded study that analyzed data from climate patterns between 1979 and 2014.
Drier climate states are expected as a consequence of global warming, said the study lead author Andreas Prein of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Scientists concluded that rare will be the years when atmospheric conditions that bring rain and snow will overcome atmospheric conditions that create drier states.
Andreas Prein explained that droughts are also occurring more easily in the southwestern U.S. However, study authors did not emphasize in the effects of climate change in the increment of frequency and duration of droughts, but they are expecting to continue the investigations in order to understand the effects of global warming and droughts in the region.
“We show that in the North Atlantic and Midwest region precipitation intensity changes are the major driver of increasing precipitation trends. In the U.S. Southwest, however, weather type frequency changes lead to a significant precipitation decrease of up to −25% related to an increase in anticyclonic conditions in the North East Pacific,” wrote the authors in a study that was published Thursday in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Results would appear to show that San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Salt Lake City and Cheyenne are the areas that are more prone to dry climate states, according to USA Today.
Mari Tye, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and study co-author, said that understanding how changing weather pattern frequencies impact total precipitation in the country is fundamental to water resource managers, because they can plan the construction of water storing infrastructures depending on registers of droughts and floods.
The study, which was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America, seems to suggest that when the Earth temperature increases, the ground turns drier and droughts occur more rapidly. Co-author Greg Holland explained that because of a decrease in the frequency of rainfalls in the Southeast, droughts are being more intense.
Droughts are already a worldwide problem. During the last three years, thousands of Syrians have been migrating to Europe as a consequence of war-related conflicts but also because of droughts in the region. Last year, some scientists expected the establishment of a U.N. body, specially dedicated to provide a warning system of droughts, during the U.N. climate event in New York City. However, the institution was not consolidated because governments are not putting enough attention to the problem, said analysts at The Guardian.
Source: Geophysical Research Letters