Western Drought Has Lasted Longer than the Dust Bowl

It has lasted longer than the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

It’s dropped water levels perilously low at two of the nation’s largest reservoirs, forced ranchers to sell off herds and helped propel scorching wildfires.

And worst of all, the drought blanketing the western United States is not going away.

A group of experts featuring federal and state officials and farmers and ranchers spent nearly three hours yesterday chronicling the devastation caused by drought conditions that now cover almost every inch of seven Western states. Half of the U.S. population lives in a drought-stricken area.

The virtual session, organized by NOAA, sought to draw attention to the vast effects of the drought — and to the Biden administration’s effort to help suffering communities and industries and to warn about climate change.

“In Oregon, a wildfire the size of Los Angeles is burning now,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said, referring to the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon, which started July 6 and has burned an area that is actually about 20% larger than L.A.’s 503 square miles. “And this is only the start of the wildfire season out West.”

Read Full Story
Scientific American Rating

Share this:

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: