A new study shows that there's a grim future for the American Southwest.
If you think things are bad in the Southwestern United States right now, scientists have bad news for you.
A new study indicates that the region is about to get even drier in the coming decades, based on the last 35 years of weather patterns, according to an Associated Press report. That’s unfortunate news for residents of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Salt Lake City, Cheyenne.
In a region already suffering with drought, wetter weather will continue to be scarce in the Southwestern United States. Even today, a normal year of rain is a quarter drier than in the 1970s, claims the study, which was pubilshed in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Andreas Prein of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who was the lead author on the study, said that global warming was to blame for this shift, and that droughts would continue to be more common in the region.
The study isn’t rock solid proof that climate change is to blame, as that wasn’t the focus of the study, but it’s definitely a clue, and researchers intend to look for a link in their next project.
The findings were based on weather data from 1979 through 2014 to see if patterns emerged on the frequency of rain. The researchers noticed three patterns that were causing most of the wet weather, and that they all involved low pressure in the North Pacific during the winter.