What We Know About Climate Change and Drought
As farmers in the United States slog through the countryâ€™s largest drought in 50 years, a lot of people are asking about the connection between global warming and the arid landscape in the Midwest. Is climate change causing this drought? Didnâ€™t the United States suffer worse droughts in the past? And what will happen if the planet keeps heating up?
Those arenâ€™t simple questions. So hereâ€™s a guide to what we know about the link between climate change and drought. The best single reference on this topic is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changeâ€™s (IPCC) 2012 report on extreme events, which synthesized the existing scientific research. And the short version is this: Droughts have multiple causes.