If you can't explain the 'pause', you can't explain the cause...
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
New paper finds North American droughts were far more severe & persistent during the past millennium
A recent paper published in Nature reconstructs North American drought history over the past 1,000 years and finds droughts during the 12th & 13th centuries were far more severe and long-lasting than the relatively mild US drought of 2012.
Excerpt: "Cook et al. tap a continental array of 1,000-year drought records based on tree rings to show how the 2012 pan-continental drought pattern has occurred in 12% of years since the tenth century. More importantly, the authors’ study highlights how no major US region is immune to such drought, and that we understand quite a lot about how sea surface temperatures drive the differing patterns of drought. Cook and colleagues’ most relevant lesson for the future, however, may be that the one- year pan-continental drought of 2012 was but a glimpse of drought compared with the multi-decadal pan-continental megadroughts that were most common during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries."
An analysis of North American drought variability over the past millennium shows that it is not unusual for widespread drought to persist for years, prompting fresh thinking about our ability to deal with such climate conditions.