The Fall of Empire

A new piece of analysis   of the likelihood of severe drought in the United States in the later half of the 21st  century has made some dire predictions.. Entitled  Unprecedented 21st century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains, the article posits that the American Southwest ( The broad definition of the South-West includes nearly a quarter of the United States, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah) and the Central  Plains of the U.S. (includes Nebraska, Kansas, southern South Dakota and Minnesota, western Iowa and Missouri, and northern Oklahoma), will  as a result of global  warming and natural  climate changes, endure increasingly longer periods of severe drought.-  the worst  in  a thousand years.

The research  argues that  rainfall  measurement and soil  moisture levels  over the past 100 years do  not accurately  indicate the drought potential in the United States.

Drought Predictions 2050-2099

The “mega-droughts” of the 12th  and 13th  centuries in North America will pale into  insignificance compared to  the impending droughts beginning to occur somewhere between 2030    and 2050. This drought will  be compounded by  the then  very   severe impacts of global  warming, and the  massive loss of  groundwater and river depletion caused by  unsustainable agricultural  practices, fracking, and the large influx of  human populations  to  the west  over the preceding 100 years.

Benjamin  Cook,  a lead researcher for the study  from  the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies , notes that the models also revealed that the “drying in the Southwest would result from a combination of less rain and greater soil evaporation due to higher temperatures. They were not as conclusive about less rain in the central Great Plains but all showed more evaporation there. “Even where rain may not change much, greater evaporation will dry out the soils,” Cook says.”

If this research  is in  fact correct, then perhaps, you might argue , this is  payback  time for the 200  years of  devastation to  the planet  and horrific suffering inflicted on  so  many human beings by  that experiment in  global  destruction – the United States.

But we must not  forget  that  “innocent” human beings will  undoubtedly die , and countless millions of unique species may  well  disappear from  the face of the planet as a  result of this calamity. Or perhaps, as many of the Plains tribes ave predicted, this is their opportunity to  re-claim  their destiny.

The rich of the West  and mid-West  will have no problem  relocating to  their  houses in the eastern states or  overseas. It is the poor of the US who  will  once again  suffer as they  did in  the dust-bowl era.  Will  this extreme dislocation  lead then to  a resurgence in  workers’ rights, of equality for all, and  true non-oligarchic democracy? Or will it instead lead to  a desperate grab for other, more fortunate,  countries’ resources by  what is still  likely to be the largest  military  machine in the world?  It is however  indisputable that, over time, this environmental catastrophe will dramatically accelerate the United States’ transition to  relatively minor international player .

Will  those who  assume the mantle of ‘international leadership” be less voracious and barbarous in  their responses to international issues?-we will have to hope so.


 

Links

Unprecedented 21st century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains

New Paper: Unprecedented 21st-century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains

US faces worst droughts in 1,000 years, predict scientists


 

 

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