According to a new study published on February 4th, 2016, in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the recent severe droughts in California and Oklahoma, in the United States, are directly affecting human society and ecosystems since they are likely to become more frequent.
The study is based on an analysis of 35 years of climate data of the country. A team of researchers led by Andreas F. Prein examined regional data from 1979 to 2014, and found out that precipitations have lowered and drier conditions have increased and are slowly settling down in the Southwest regions of the United States. Nowadays, droughts are more severe than in other years.
In the study it can be read that “results support projections of climate models that show a pronounced increase in droughts and aridity in the Southwest during the latter half of the 21st century due to a poleward extension of the subtropical dry zones leading to increasing anticyclonic conditions.”
The analysis was made of sea pressure, atmospheric water depth and wind speeds, which allowed data to be collected for the study and researchers to draw a conclusion. The study indicated that the Southwest’s climate will continually get drier while weather types that bring rain and moisture to the area are becoming rarer. The state of California is shown as a good example since it has suffered many droughts for many years.
However, the study also found an opposite yet smaller effect in the Northeast of the United States, where some of this weather types that typically bring rain and moisture are increasing.
Source: The California Post