Friday, August 03, 2012
By: J. D. Heyes
[NaturalNews] Summer this year not quite the paradise you anticipated? Has the heat got you beat? Well, get used to it, say some researchers who claim that, based on key evidence, current climate conditions could become the “new normal.”
A group of 10 researchers from Oregon State University, who published their recent findings in the journal Nature Geoscience, said their findings indicate that the western part of North America suffered a chronic drought from 2000-2004, which led to the death of some forests and caused river basins to dry up.
The period, which they said was the strongest drought in eight centuries, could become stereotypical in the coming years, while now could become “the good old days.”
The researchers said such climatic extremes are the result of global warming, and that today’s weather, decades from now, will seem moderate in comparison. Climate models and precipitation projections, the team said, indicate that the current period will be close to the “wet end” of an overall drier hydroclimate during the last half of the 21st century.
“Climatic extremes such as this will cause more large-scale droughts and forest mortality, and the ability of vegetation to sequester carbon is going to decline,” said Beverly Law, a co-author of the study and a professor of global change biology and terrestrial systems science at Oregon State.
“During this drought, carbon sequestration from this region was reduced by half,” she said. “That’s a huge drop. And if global carbon emissions don’t come down, the future will be even worse.”