Study Predicts Climate Changes Will Mean Worsening Drought

(April 5, 2007)--A study finds changing climate will mean increasing drought in the Southwest, a region where water already is in tight supply.

Richard Seager of Columbia University's Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory is lead author of the study online Thursday in the journal Science.

Seager says the bottom line is people better start planning for a Southwest region in which water resources are increasingly stretched.

Texas is still recovering from drought.

Researchers studied 19 computer models of the climate, using data dating back to 1860 and projecting into the future.

The consensus was that climate in the southwestern US and parts of northern Mexico began a transition to drier conditions late in the 20th century.

The trend continued into this century, as climate change alters the movement of storms and moisture in the atmosphere.

Seager says the reduction in rainfall could reach levels of the 1930s Midwest dust bowl.

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