World Watch – A study published in the December 1998 Bulletin of the American Meterological Society suggests that long-term climate patterns could result in droughts of unprecedented severity in the United States. Records show that droughts like the seven-year dust bowl of the 1930s occur in our country about twice a century, according to Connie Woodhouse and Jonathan Overpick of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. There also exists a historic pattern of droughts that last for decades, the last two being recorded in the 16th and 12th Centuries. Severe droughts ?could recur in the future, leading to a disaster of a dimension unprecedented in the twentieth century.? Erosion caused by planting of marginal areas could hasten this process. In addition scientific models show that green house gasses cause ?a marked increase in the frequency and duration of extreme droughts.?

Thanks to World Watch, March/April 1999 Issue.

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