BOULDER, Colo., Oct. 19 (UPI) — The United States and other heavily populated countries could experience severe and prolonged drought in coming decades, a scientific study says.
A scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo,. says most of the Western Hemisphere, along with large parts of Eurasia, Africa and Australia, may be at threat of extreme drought this century, ScienceDaily.com reported Tuesday.
An analysis using computer climate models suggests warming temperatures associated with climate change will likely create increasingly dry conditions across much of the globe in the next 30 years, NCAR scientist Aiguo Dai says.
“We are facing the possibility of widespread drought in the coming decades, but this has yet to be fully recognized by both the public and the climate change research community,” Dai says. “If the projections in this study come even close to being realized, the consequences for society worldwide will be enormous.”
Dai says his findings are based on current projections of greenhouse gas emissions, which could change with world efforts to cut down on CO2 emissions and with natural climate cycles like El Nino.
Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.