Last updated October 10, 2018

Climate change and California drought in the 21st century

  • States that climate science is now in a position to “detect” and “attribute” specific impacts and events to anthropogenic climate change
  • States that Diffenbaugh et al.[1] now add weight to the accumulating evidence that anthropogenic climatic changes are already influencing the frequency, magnitude, and duration of drought in California
  • Shows that the increasing co-occurrence of dry years with warm years raises the risk of drought despite limited evidence of a trend in precipitation itself, highlighting the critical role of elevated temperatures in altering water availability and increasing overall drought intensity and impact