Real Science

From Northern Arizona University via the NSIDC website

30 July 2012

A new scientific study indicates the turn-of-the-century drought in the North American West was the worst of the last millennium—with major impacts to the carbon cycle and hints of even drier times ahead.

The study, titled “Reduction in carbon uptake during turn of the century drought in western North America,” indicates that the major drought that struck western North America from 2000 to 2004 severely reduced carbon uptake and stressed the region’s water resources, with significant declines in river flows and crop yields. It was published on July 29 in Nature-Geoscience. NSIDC scientist Kevin Schaefer is a co-author on the study, along with Christopher Williams of Clark University. The study was led by Christopher Schwalm of Northern Arizona University (NAU).

Researchers found that the turn-of-the-century drought was the most severe region-wide event of its kind since the…

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