L'ouest des États-Unis et le nord du Mexique sont victimes depuis 2000 d'une sécheresse exceptionnelle.

Millennium mega drought in southwestern North America

The mega drought of 20 years in southwestern North America is the worst on record in 1,200 years, according to a study published Monday, February 14, which confirms that this episode, exacerbated by climate change, is likely to continue into 2022.

The western United States and northern Mexico have experienced an exceptional drought since 2000, which has now exceeded two decades, making it possible to describe it as “severe dryness“.”After an exceptionally severe drought in 2021, about 19% of which is attributable to human-induced climate change, 2000-2021 was the driest 22-year period since at least the year 800.The researchers write in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change. Because of the extremely high temperatures and low precipitation between summer 2020 and summer 2021, this massive drought”Exceeded severityA statement from UCLA Los Angeles said:

Climate change

And since 2000, the soil moisture deficit has been twice as large as during any drought in the 20th century. Also, this episodeIt is likely to continue until 2022, reaching a period of massive drought in the late 16th century“Even if the rain returns, the effects are likely to persist over this region stretching from southern Montana to northern Mexico, from the Pacific Ocean to the Rocky Mountains,” the study says.It is unlikely that this drought will simply end with a rainy year.Commented lead author Park Williams, a geographer at the University of California. “Without climate change, the past 22 years would probably have been the driest in 300 years“, corn “Without approaching the massive droughts of the sixteenth, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries CE,” he said in a press release.

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According to the study, climate change associated with human activities, which amplifies episodes of heat waves and disrupts the rainfall regime, is responsible for 42% of the soil moisture deficit during the period 2000-2021 in this area, and 19% in 2021. This chronic drought was in the West The United States notably pushed the federal government last August to pass a resolution for the first time in history to impose water restrictions affecting Lake Mead, the country’s largest artificial reservoir, fed by the Colorado River.

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