CO2 Emissions

American West's "Megadrought"
4:19 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Study: "Megadrought" The New Normal In The West

This tower in a ponderosa pine forest near Sisters, Ore., gathers data on forest productivity and soil processes that influence the carbon dioxide and water vapor exchange with the atmosphere.
Beverly Law

The drought that hit the West from 2000-2004 is not only the worst in 800 years, but it could be the new “normal."  That’s according to new research in the journal Nature Geoscience.

You’d have to go back to the middle ages to find a period as dry as 2000-2004 in the American West. Snowpack decreased. Crop productivity in much of the west went down by 5 percent. And that’s not the worst of it, the researchers say. Grasses, plants and trees suck up about 30 percent of our CO2 emissions in North America. In the Northwest, that percentage is even higher.

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