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Droughts may get much worse in the US [ClearOnMoney]
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Droughts may get much worse in the US

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Commentary

Droughts may get much worse in the US

26 Jan 2012 by Jim Fickett.

If you are interested in climate change (and every long-term investor should be), the blog Early Warning is quite useful. Stuart Staniford is a physicist who follows climate science in his spare time, and regularly summarizes technical papers for the layman.

In a post today entitled Another terrifying drought paper, he summarizes joint work from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.

The research had two main parts. First the scientists fit past rainfall and temperature data (widely available) to a drought model (drought data is not widely available), and summarized the result in a standardized drought index. Then they averaged the results of 19 climate models to predict the drought index over North America in the future. The discouraging conclusion was that drought as bad as the dustbowl 1930s could become the norm by the middle of this century, over most of the US.

There is, of course, a great deal of uncertainty about all climate modeling. This is, nevertheless, a sobering result. In particular, one should probably try to understand these results more thoroughly before jumping on the farmland investment bandwagon.