NASA: U.S. headed for worst droughts in a millennium

Data from NASA shows carbon emissions could be the driving force behind devastating water shortages and record droughts in the western U.S.

July 23, 2015 |
NASA: U.S. headed for worst droughts in a millennium

Aerial photo of the California Aqueduct at the Interstate 205 crossing, just east of Interstate 580 junction. Photo: Kluft via Wikimedia Commons

The United States is primed for the worst droughts recorded in the last 1,000 years due to climate change.

Projections by climate scientists at Columbia University show the U.S. will experience droughts throughout the 21st century that are much more severe than the one currently impacting California.

Data from NASA shows carbon emissions could be the driving force behind these devastating water shortages.

A report in the Guardian says that higher temperatures due to climate change could make it nearly impossible to maintain current lifestyles across much of the country. The predicted droughts would be more severe than those of ancient times which caused the collapse of civilizations.

According to NASA the current likelihood of a mega-drought is about 12%. If greenhouse gas emissions stop increasing in the mid-21st century, NASA projects that the likelihood of a mega-drought rises by 60%.

If emissions keep increasing at their current levels, that number goes up to about 80%. California, the southwest and the Great Plains are expected to be the hardest-hit by these droughts.

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