As I have written here repeatedly, one of the three migrations we are going to see as the century goes on are people leaving the Southwest because of increased temperatures, and lack of water. Much of this centers on the Colorado River, and here is the latest on that crucial water source. The other two migrations, of course, are away from the coasts because of sea rise, and out of the central states because of violent destructive weather events like tornadoes.
The south-western United States is almost certain to experience a “megadrought” lasting decades if global warming continues unchecked, researchers have warned.
The once-mighty Colorado river, which has regularly failed to reach the ocean since the 1960s, is already in the grip of the worst 15-year drought on record with the flow of water in the 21st century nearly a fifth lower than the 20th-century average, a new study found.
And scientists warned the river could be reduced by anything from 35 to 55 per cent by the end of this century if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Rising temperatures cause increased evaporation from the river, but also prompt plants to use more water.
A paper about the study in the journal Water Resources Research said: “With continued anthropogenic [human-caused] warming, the risk of multi-decadal megadrought in the …