Chances of ‘Megadrought’ Rising

"Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting," may become more of a truism according to a new study.

Researchers at Cornell University say the chances of a "megadrought" in the Southwestern United States, meaning a drought that lasts for more than 30 years, has risen to 50%. The odds of a drought lasting for at least a decade has jumped to 80%.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Using climate model projections, researchers determined that prolonged drought would probably hit New Mexico and Arizona as well as California. On the other hand, the chances for the same conditions affecting parts of Idaho, Washington and Montana may actually decrease.

Megadrought conditions may also strike Australia, southern Africa and the Amazon, the researchers said.

The risk for a decadelong drought like the 1930s Dust Bowl is even more alarming because researchers say such events occur "on average once or twice per century."

Right now 82% of California is facing "extreme" drought conditions, which is the fourth highest on the U.S. Drought Monitor.