California’s wet and snowy winter brings welcome relief from a years-long drought that has challenged the state’s water supply and agricultural system. But climate scientist Richard Seager of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory offers words of caution: Remember what happened, because it will happen again. Beyond the variable climate that historically has brought wet and dry years to the American Southwest, Seager’s and others’ research shows a larger trend emerging. Human induced climate change is altering the system, pushing the region into a warmer and drier climate that will see longer and more severe droughts down the road. Seager, Palisades Geophysical Institute/Lamont Research Professor, is dedicated to understanding why that is happening.
This video is one in a series exploring people at the Earth Institute, what they do, and why they do it. Video production by the Columbia News video team.
Photos from NASA (Lake Powell); California Water Resources Authority