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MindMover

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'Megadrought' threatens U.S. Southwest, Plains in decades to come, says study

The U.S. Southwest and Central Plains regions are likely to be scorched by a decades-long "megadrought" in the second half of this century if climate change continues unabated, scientists from NASA and Cornell and Columbia universities have warned.

In a study published by the journal Science Advances this week, the researchers forecast that future drought risk in the area is likely to exceed even the driest conditions experienced during extensive Medieval-era periods that have been dubbed "megadroughts."

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There is an 80 per cent chance of an extended drought between 2050 and 2099 unless aggressive steps are taken to mitigate the impacts of climate change, the article predicted.

"Ultimately, the consistency of our results suggests an exceptionally high risk of a multidecadal megadrought ... (and) a level of aridity exceeding even the persistent megadroughts that characterized the Medieval era," the scientists wrote.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/megadrought-threatens-u-s-southwest-plains-in-decades-to-come-says-study-1.2957793
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