Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Scientists Worry Climate Changes May Trigger Huge Drought.(Final)

Byline: John Fleck Journal Staff Writer

TUCSON -- Could global warming make the Southwest's droughts worse?

Jonathan Overpeck imagines humans tickling the tail of a sleeping tiger with the continued emission of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, into our atmosphere.

A September 2000 U.S. government assessment of potential regional impacts concluded that global warming could play havoc with snowpacks.

But what scares Overpeck and other climate scientists is the possibility that warming will trigger even bigger changes in the underlying dynamics of our climate.

In the Southwest, according to Overpeck, the variability that has long been the bane of human societies could get worse, with bigger swings from wet to dry, and droughts that are deeper and longer. …

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