Monday August 15, 2022


For numerous good reasons, drought conditions are cause for alarm. They affect agriculture, can lead to restrictions on water use and ramp up the risk of wildfires. Any of these things on their own would be worrying; taken together, they’re even more unsettling. Did we mention that California’s current drought has lasted for the last three years?

It begs the question: could it get worse? The answer, unfortunately, is yes. The reason for that might seem contradictory at first, though — scientists are presently raising warning flags over the prospect of flooding wreaking havoc on the state.

That’s the central takeaway from a recent Washington Post article by Matthew Cappucci. The event known as the Great Flood of 1862 began in late 1861, culminating in a series of floods that submerged Sacramento and destroyed several small communities. Could something similar happen again? Some scientists who have studied the matter feel that it can.

Regarding this kind of flooding, UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain told the Post that “[i]t already has happened in 1862, and it probably has happened about five times per millennium before that.”

Read more >

Link copied successfully