Study says California’s drought more natural than man-made

From Bloomberg:

California’s worst drought in four decades, which has threatened agriculture and exacerbated wildfire risk, has been driven primarily by natural atmospheric patterns, according to a U.S. government-sponsored study.

A recurring high-pressure ridge off the West Coast influenced by varying sea surface temperatures blocked wet-season storms over the past three years, causing the least winter precipitation since 1974-1977 for the world’s eighth-largest economy, according to the report released today.

The study was conducted by researchers at Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory and International Research Institute for Climate and Society and at NASA and theNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which sponsored the work.

While models project that the southwestern portion of North America as a whole will become more arid because of rising greenhouse gas emissions, determining the impact of human-induced climate change from the observational record is difficult, they concluded.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.