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Texas on track for the driest conditions of the past 1,000 years due to climate change

New research warns of driest conditions of the past 1,000 YEARs due to climate change with certain parts of megadroughts

  • Researchers used advanced climate models to predict the future of Texas
  • The data shows that the state can withstand the driest conditions of the past 1,000 years
  • West Texas can experience reduced rainfall and elevated temperatures
  • The predictions will take place in the Lone Star State by the end of the century

Scientists warn that Texas, where about 29 million Americans live, may be plagued by extreme heat from future climate change.

The grim warning comes as climate models reveal that by the end of the century, the state can endure the driest conditions of the past 1,000 years.

Western areas are likely to be hit by a “double blow” from reduced rainfall and elevated temperatures resulting in a mega dry.

All of these events together could deplete Texas’ water supply, leading experts to call on officials to draft a 100-year water source plan.

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Scientists warn that Texas, where about 29 million Americans live, may be plagued by extreme heat from future climate change. The grim warning comes as climate models reveal that by the end of the century, the state can endure the driest conditions of the past 1,000 years

Scientists warn that Texas, where about 29 million Americans live, may be plagued by extreme heat from future climate change. The grim warning comes as climate models reveal that by the end of the century, the state can endure the driest conditions of the past 1,000 years

A team from Texas A&M University released the climate study, using advanced models that project drought conditions.

John Nielsen-Gammon, director of the Texas Center for Climate Studies and the Texas State Climatologist, said, “Our study shows that the drier conditions expected in the second half of the 21st century can be drier than all those megadroughts, depending on how you measure dryness. ‘

He also noted that the state was much wetter after the last ice age some 15,000 years ago, but has since remained the current climate that Texas is experiencing today.

Drought was a major player in Texas history, and a 1950s event still has the ‘drought record’ and is still the worst in the past 125 years.

All of these events together could deplete Texas' water supply, leading experts to call on officials to draft a 100-year water source plan. Certain areas of Texas are already experiencing extreme temperatures

All of these events together could deplete Texas' water supply, leading experts to call on officials to draft a 100-year water source plan. Certain areas of Texas are already experiencing extreme temperatures

All of these events together could deplete Texas’ water supply, leading experts to call on officials to draft a 100-year water source plan. Certain areas of Texas are already experiencing extreme temperatures

However, the new model takes into account climate change, which would drastically deplete the water supply, putting the state in a devastating drought.

“The state’s water plan does not explicitly take into account climate change when figuring out how water supply and demand will change,” said Nielsen-Gammon.

As our article points out, pinning numbers for any of these changes is a tough challenge, and it’s not just about estimating changes in rainfall.

“Linking future water supply to criteria set in record drought is a defensible choice, but policymakers should be aware that the chances of exceeding record drought are likely to increase from year to year.”

The reports also show that the western regions are vulnerable to megadroughts.

“West Texas most likely appears to receive a double blow: less rain and higher temperatures,” said Nielsen-Gammon.

“Although rainfall has increased about 10 percent across the state over the past century, West Texas has seen little to no increase.”

Studies are confident that Texas will continue on a path of warmer, drier conditions, as any long-term changes in rainfall will be “overshadowed” by how much more evaporation the supply of water will run out. Shown is a Lake Austin bed that has dried

“West Texas is already planning what happens when one or more critical aquifers run out.”

“Climate change will make this depletion a little faster, but the decline of the Ogallala Aquifer is mainly caused by water extraction for irrigation instead of climate change.”

Studies are confident that Texas will continue on a path of warmer, drier conditions, as any long-term changes in rainfall will be “overshadowed” by how much more evaporation the supply of water will run out.

However, droughts are temporary by definition, so it wouldn’t be correct to think of the future as a state of permanent drought, Nielsen-Gammon said.

“It’s really a change in the climate, with the normally arid conditions in West Texas slowly migrating to East Texas,” he said.

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