From USA TODAY
California’s 100-year drought
California is in the third year of one of the state’s worst droughts in the past century, one that’s led to fierce wildfires, water shortages and restrictions, and potentially staggering agricultural losses. The dryness in California is only part of a longer-term, 15-year drought across most of the Western USA, one that bioclimatologist Park Williams said is notable because “more area in the West has persistently been in drought during the past 15 years than in any other 15-year period since the 1150s and 1160s” — that’s more than 850 years ago. “When considering the West as a whole, we are currently in the midst of a historically relevant megadrought,” said Williams, a professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in New York.
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