02/13/2015

Are Decades-Long Megadroughts on the Horizon?

11:50 minutes

California has been locked in a four-year drought that has depleted groundwater reserves, hastened the spread of wildfires, and caused severe crop loss. Reporting in Science Advances, researches say that by the end of the century, the Southwest and Central Plains regions are at risk of experiencing a megadrought—a drought that lasts for multiple decades. Climatologist Jason Smerdon discusses how climate change might be pushing us towards a drier future.

Segment Guests

Jason Smerdon

Jason Smerdon is Lamont Associate Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in New York, New York.

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About Alexa Lim

Alexa Lim is a producer for Science Friday. Her favorite stories involve space, sound, and strange animal discoveries.