What does a mountain lake reveal about California’s drought?

One lake in California may hold clues as to how the state’s current five-year drought and other major droughts throughout the region’s history have been linked to climate change, hinting at what Californians might expect in the future, as well.

A study led by Glen MacDonald, a climate change researcher and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, analyzed the relationship between past periods of climate warming, surface sea temperatures, and prolonged drought. And the findings, published on Thursday in Scientific Reports, could help determine if anthropogenic climate change will affect periods of drought in a similar way to historic, natural sources of climate change.

“These data provide evidence of a persistent relationship between past climate warming, Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) shifts and centennial to millennial episodes of California aridity…despite differences in the factors producing increased radiative forcing,” the authors write. READ MORE.