According to a 2011 study, if current warming trends continue, Mexico and many sections of the United States as well as the majority of Central America could face severe and permanent drought conditions in the future. The study, published in December of 2011, in the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Hydrometeorology, has surprisingly not received much press, yet it could create climate change in these areas producing international effects.
According to the study, “Projections of Future Drought in the Continental United States and Mexico,” drought conditions will continue even if precipitation increases. The study estimates that with carbon emissions, temperatures will increase to at least 2.5 degrees Celsius between the years 2050 and 2090. The warmer temperatures will increase evaporation creating drier soils. Precipitation may increase, however potentially only in winter months.
Michael Wehner, co-author of the study and a climate specialist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California states, “Drought conditions will prevail no matter what precipitation rates are in the future. Even in regions where rainfall increases, the soils will get drier. What this means for future generations is a very difficult issue for me to talk about at a personal level.”
These predictions could not come at a worse time as Mexico is currently facing its worst drought in the past 70 years, and the state of Texas suffered its worst drought in history. As of May 8th of this year, 56% of the United States was experiencing drought conditions. This statistic has doubled in comparison to data compiled by the U.S. Drought Monitor from the previous year.