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Stories from Climate Central's Science Journalists and Content Partners

Heavy Rains, Snow Bring First Hint of Good Drought News

Heavy Rains, Snow Bring First Hint of Good Drought News

There was a net decline in all categories of drought across the lower 48 states during the week ending on Feb. 26. Most of the drought relief was confined to the Southeast and Southern Plains. In the Southeast, the total area in moderate drought or worse plummeted from 43.76 percent down to 27.26 percent in just one week.… Read More

Wet Times Are Masking New York’s Real Drought Risk

Wet Times Are Masking New York’s Real Drought Risk

The last several decades have been the wettest in about the past five centuries for the watershed serving the bustling metropolis of New York City, according to a new study. This wet period is deceiving, because it is masking the city's real drought history and may be lulling water managers into a sense of complacency, which could come back to hurt… Read More

Himalayan Farmers Coping with an Uncertain Future

Himalayan Farmers Coping with an Uncertain Future

The Himalayas – the world’s biggest and highest mountain range, stretching from Afghanistan and Pakistan in the west to Yunnan in southwest China in the east – are, together with the Tibetan plateau and surrounding mountain ranges, often referred to as “the Third Pole,” containing more ice and water than any other area on the planet outside the Arc… Read More

Time Is Running Out to Avert a Third Summer of Drought

Time Is Running Out to Avert a Third Summer of Drought

Meanwhile, the economic toll of the worst drought to strike the U.S. since at least the 1950s is climbing, and it “will probably end up being a top-five disaster event” among the government’s ranking of all weather disasters over the past three decades, said Brad Rippey, a meteorologist in the Agriculture Department’s Office of the Chief Economist,… Read More

Snowstorm Headed For Heart of Drought Region

Snowstorm Headed For Heart of Drought Region

According to the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor, 77 percent of Nebraska is currently classified as experiencing “exceptional” drought conditions, the most severe category there is. In Kansas, that figure is lower, at 36 percent of the state.… Read More

NASA Probes Show ‘Alarming’ Water Loss in Middle East

NASA Probes Show ‘Alarming’ Water Loss in Middle East

Parts of the Middle East are losing groundwater reserves at “an alarming rate,” according to a new analysis of NASA satellite data. From the beginning to 2003 to the end of 2009, portions of Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria that lie within the Tigris and Euphrates river basins shed 117 million acre-feet of water. That’s roughly equivalent to the… Read More

The Top 10 Hardest-Hit States for Crop Damage

The Top 10 Hardest-Hit States for Crop Damage

The searing U.S. drought of 2012 devastated the nation’s corn crop, pushing yields down in some states to their lowest levels in nearly 30 years. According to recently-released numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Missouri, Illinois and Indiana were among the hardest hit Corn Belt states, with yields at 28-, 26-, and 22-year … Read More

Climate Change a Bigger Extinction Threat than Asteroids

Climate Change a Bigger Extinction Threat than Asteroids

As teaching moments go, it doesn’t get much better than this. NASA scientists have known for nearly a year that a small asteroid called 2012 DA14, about 150 ft. across, would whiz past Earth at the nail-biting distance of 17,000 miles or so — significantly closer than the 22,500-mile altitude occupied by geosynchronous satellites. It happened right… Read More