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4/18/2007

Coping With Spreading Drought Conditions

Breaking Earth News
USA
With so many visible strikes from natural disasters grabbing the headlines, the insidious nature of a drought makes it easy to overlook. Unfortunately, there's no doubt drought conditions can be just as disastrous and they are quietly spreading through much of the nation West of the Mississippi. Persistent drought conditions in the southwest are spreading north and further west. With the greatest areas of "severe" and "extreme" drought conditions confined largely to the U.S. southwest's Arizona-California-Nevada area (and to a lesser extent, areas in the High Plains), moderate drought conditions and abnormally dry areas
also now include most of California and an area from New Mexico, Oregon, and the Canadian border at Montana and North Dakota - including all of Hawaii and parts of Alaska. With some portions of even the hurricane-ravaged southeast experiencing drier than normal conditions to extreme drought conditions, some 40% of the nation's land mass is wringing out to some degree. "Water resources are already stressed, independent of climate change, and any additional stress from climate change or increased variability will only intensify the competition for water resources."

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