Friday, September 7, 2007

Expert: California's 'perfect drought'

KABC-TV: Southern California is now in its eighth year of an extended drought. But what would happen if that drought lasted for decades, or even a century? Some experts say the pieces are falling into place for a so-called "perfect drought," and it could have devastating consequences for California.

Higher temperatures, less water, and more wildfires -- the effects of global climate change can already be seen here in Southern California. And when you combine climate change with drought conditions, the consequences can be severe. Some say we're in the middle of a historic drought.

2007 will go down on the books as Southern California's driest year in recorded history. Fires raged out of control. Millions of dollars were lost as California crops shrivel in the searing sun. And the Eastern Sierras, where L.A. gets most of its water, marked its second lowest snowpack on record. It's a recipe for disaster, or as one expert calls it -- the perfect drought.

…It's a growing crisis across the American Southwest as a whole. The region is now in its eighth year of an extended drought. …Government forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have announced they believe another La Nina is on the way. That weather phenomenon is a periodic cooling of surface temperatures in the Pacific that's expected to bring drier-than-normal conditions this fall to an already drought-stricken Southern California.

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