U.C. Berkeley News: The state, the drought and El Niño: It’s complicated

The state, the drought and El Niño: It’s complicated

Anne Brice, Berkeley News |

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(UC Berkeley photo by Kevin Ho Nguyen)

“Just last year, researchers were saying there was no end in sight for California’s recent drought. During the past four years — the driest the state has been in a half-century— reservoirs and lake levels plummeted, leaves on giant trees grew brittle, plants shriveled and groundwater was depleted through excessive pumping for agricultural use.

But things are looking up. El Niño has swept into the Golden State and is breathing life back into the area. To many, it might seem that this storm front could end the drought and set California back on track. And it is making a difference, but like all things climate-related, it’s complicated and hard to predict.

Berkeley News spoke with Berkeley professor B. Lynn Ingram, a geologist specializing in paleoclimatology, who studies past climate history by examining natural archives — trees, sediments, shells, microfossils — and takes a long-term perspective to predict what the climate could have in store for us.

Check out the full story here

Source: http://news.berkeley.edu/2016/01/14/el-nino-and-the-drought/

Contact the author: Anne Brice, abrice@berkeley.edu

 

 

 

 

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