11 Interesting Facts About Megadroughts

by admin on August 24, 2015

A megadrought is a prolonged drought that spans multiple decades, causing widespread shortages in freshwater resources. The following facts and statistics provide insight into this long-term natural disaster that results a significant impact on water supplies and agriculture.

NASA scientists predict that there is an 80 percent chance of a megadrought in the Southwest United States before the end of the century.
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If emissions are reduced, the probability of a megadrought in the Great Plains by the end of the century will drop to an estimated 60-70%.
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A once thriving settlement by the Pueblo peoples in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico was abandoned in the 13th century due to a 60-year megadrought.
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In the past 1,200 years California has experienced two megadroughts that lasted up to 200 years.
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California’s climate was unusually wet in the 20th century compared to previous centuries.
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If carbon emissions don’t start declining by 2050, the risk of a decade-long drought in the Southwest and Central Plains doubles in the second half of the century.
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NASA scientists predict that a megadrought could occur as early as 2050.
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A single El Niño weather pattern in the West could interrupt periods of prolonged drought.
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The African Sahel region has experienced a megadrought every every 30 to 60 years with an extended megadrought from 1400 to 1750.
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A 300-year drought starting about 4,200 years ago was linked to the collapse of the Akkadians in Mesopotamia, the world’s first great empire.
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For comparison, the 1930s Dust Bowl in the Midwest, considered America’s worst drought in the 20th century, lasted just four to eight years in some areas.
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