Rapid intensification of the emerging southwestern North American megadrought in 2020–2021

  title={Rapid intensification of the emerging southwestern North American megadrought in 2020–2021},
  author={A. Park Williams and Benjamin I. Cook and Jason E. Smerdon},
  journal={Nature Climate Change},
  pages={232 - 234}
A previous reconstruction back to 800 ce indicated that the 2000–2018 soil moisture deficit in southwestern North America was exceeded during one megadrought in the late-1500s. Here, we show that after exceptional drought severity in 2021, ~19% of which is attributable to anthropogenic climate trends, 2000–2021 was the driest 22-yr period since at least 800. This drought will very likely persist through 2022, matching the duration of the late-1500s megadrought. Southwestern North America has… 

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  • D. BreshearsN. Cobb C. W. Meyer
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2005
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