Is this drought in California going to last another 2 years, or 200? These are questions going through scientist’s heads as they study the long-term climate patterns in the Western states. Through tree ring and other earthly data, researchers have identified multiple 10-20 year droughts occurring over the last 1000 years, and even worse, “ancient megadroughts” happening from 850 to 1090 and 1140 to 1320. With the Colorado River being run dry, and Arizona in the midst of its own 14-year drought, the outlook isn’t too great for a quick return to the ‘wet’ years of last century. So what will happen if this drought continues for a decade or more? Farms will disappear, desalinization plants are likely, and most importantly, Californians will adapt. It won’t be the end of the world, but man, will it be expensive.
A picture of California’s drought from space. Taken one year apart. via, io9