A “megadrought” that grips the Southwest has broken another record, according to a new study. The last 22 years now rank as the driest such period since at least 800 AD, with human emissions of greenhouse gases accounting for about 42% of the drought’s severity.
The big picture: The new study updates findings from research published in 2020 that found evidence for the first partially human-caused megadrought in the Southwest, but noted that a drought in the 1500s rivaled its intensity and duration. That is no longer the case, the new research shows.
Driving the news: The study looks closely at the 2000 to 2021 period and finds that across southwestern North America, this period was the hottest and driest stretch since at least 1901.
Sign Up for Lisa’s Top Ten to get a daily briefing on the world each morning.
Start your free trial today.