Scientists Think Megadroughts Are Permanent In Certain Areas

A megadrought is an intense dry spell lasting for more than 20 years. A new study says they could become permanent in places

By Trista Sobeck | Published

If climate change continues on the path that scientists think it will, some parts of the world will be permanently dry. This is due to man-made climate change and the natural progression of the world. Megadroughts will continue to affect the cost of food and buying trends. 

According to, some areas of the world always have been drier than others. Scientists are going through historical reports of what the world has looked like when it comes to megadroughts.

Scientists now have been able to describe the factors that have led to their predictions. These scientists looked at more than 2,000 years of data and are starting to see atypicality to the trend. And that could mean these simply aren’t blips on the weather radar, so to speak.

As the planet grows warmer over time, time is running out stop megadroughts. But, it may be impossible to stop when scientists look at these naturally occurring trends.

Because obviously nothing would be written, they looked at naturally occurring phenomena. Things like tree rings, stalactites (formed in caves), and other indicators that occurred during and before megadroughts. 

Parts of the planet have always been prone to megadroughts and will likely always be. If those places grow hotter, megadroughts may become permanent—much like how some parts of the world are continuously covered in ice. This would obviously have major ramifications on the planet and specifically to these affected areas.

Warmer air holds more water, and as warmer temps lead to earlier snowmelt and drier soil. This means less moisture in the air and less rainfall. It is a bit of a vicious cycle and scientists are predicting that we may not be able to stop it. 

One of the states that is experiencing a megadrought is Arizona. In fact, southern Arizona, home to Tucson, is directly in the bullseye of that megadrought. Some scientists believe that Arizona would always have been in a drought. But, it was human-caused climate change that pushed it to mega-drought status. 

Proponents of using fewer carbon emissions say it will never be too late to try to do something. Cutting carbon footprints (ie using less gas-based cars) would be a great start. It seems that the world has already begun this as California is no longer going to sell new cars that run on gas beginning in 2035. 

Electric vehicles (EVs) are starting to become more and more the norm as gas prices rise, more places to “fuel up” pop up, and more affordable options are released. As infrastructure becomes prepared to support more EVs on the road, more people will buy them. 

As the world starts to experience an increase in megadroughts and less rainfall, the world could start to run out of fresh water. We rely on the water table to stay stocked with rain specifically for our daily use. 

In addition to the disastrous effects that climate change has had on humans, we are now starting to experience food shortages as costs increase.

It costs more and more money to feed cattle, and other animals, so those increases get passed onto the consumer. Milk, chicken, eggs, and even butter are becoming more expensive.

So, we either have to decide to go without, or fix the issue we’ve made worse.