October 22, 2012
WASHINGTON What can make a bad drought even worse? A sizzling summer, the likes of which the lower 48 states haven’t seen since record-keeping started in 1895.
“There have been many severe droughts here before,” said Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University. “What’s really unusual, though, is the heat. When it’s really hot, it actually makes the drought worse, because the hotter it is, the faster water evaporates, so the drier the soil gets.”