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U.S. In Worst Drought Since 1956

U.S. In Worst Drought Since 1956

The United States is in its worst drought since 1956, according to a report by the National Climatic Data Center.A full third of the country was suffering from severe to extreme short-term drought, up from 23 percent in May. Overall, 56 percent of the country is in drought conditions, including much of the Plains and Midwest.

The drought could have far-reaching implications, from crop death to increase wildfire risk to the disruption of shipping on the Mississippi River.

“We’ve never seen a drought like this and we have to make sure we do something about it,” said Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. The Democrat called on Congress to pass the farm bill, which provides for insurance programs to aid hard-hit farmers.

38 percent of corn planted is reported as in poor or very poor conditions, leading to rising prices for corn. The price of corn has jumped 34 percent in the last month, and it’s expected they will go higher.

The drought comes against a backdrop of global warming. While no weather event can be directly tied to global climate change, climate scientists have predicted that global warming will make droughts more likely worldwide. The United States is expected to be one of the regions hardest-hit by increasing droughts.

Last month was the fourth-warmest June on record, with temperatures 1.13 F above average. Only Australia, Northwestern Europe, and the Northwestern United States were cooler than normal.

The 2012 drought is already causing disruption. More concerning, however, is what the future holds. This year’s drought is the worst in 56 years. Few people expect that it will be 2068 before we see another one this bad.

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Image Credit: Bert Kaufmann

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113 comments

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10:26AM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

Thank you !

10:38AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

I really feel sorry for the people and the animals who have to suffer that...

1:35AM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

Time to wake up america

12:21AM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

Thank you for sharing it!

9:17PM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

Sizzle sizzle
Frack, Frack
Drill, kill, spill
No water.

3:44PM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

David S.

There's nothing at all weird going on here. It's all been predicted by those global warming climatologists. ...and I doubt it was the faithful ("Have faith it will get better soon") who built damns, aquifers and canals to bring water where it was needed. They just looked around and said "Screw faith. I'm doing something."

Widespread drought, as predicted, is here and will likely get worse. Good thing we're prepared for this. Thanks to all those who worked so hard to keep us informed...what's that? We're NOT prepared. Oh, never mind...

7:04PM PDT on Jul 20, 2012

Dr. C, WoW, Your views are duly noted...now, eat your veggies or there will be not senseless viewing of reruns for you. Broccoli, YUM

8:38PM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

We must get more serious about protecting the water supply and not divert it miles away to build anew city with green lawns in the middle of the desert. All sewage water needs to be treated to pristine purity and then reused in that locale- not demand more water from neighboring wells or aquifers.....

6:57PM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

Do NOT worry people! I am sure North Carolina will soon pass a law making drought illegal and the problem will simply go away!

3:07PM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

"global weirding" as the phrase goes, trend is set to continue for the near future at least. Have faith it will get better soon and pray for those in need

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