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.