Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
KPBS Midday Edition

Extended Dry Period Suggests State Could Be In 'Mega Drought'

Irrigation water runs along the dried-up ditch between the rice farms to provide water for the rice fields in Richvale, Calif., May 1, 2014.
Associated Press
Irrigation water runs along the dried-up ditch between the rice farms to provide water for the rice fields in Richvale, Calif., May 1, 2014.
For many Californians, concerns over drought conditions haven’t been a seasonal issue - they’ve been a way of life. With consecutive years of record high temperatures and scarce rainfall, some climate researchers are hinting at the possibility California has actually been in a protracted “mega-drought” - which means the impact of climate change could be much more severe across the state.

For many Californians, concern over drought conditions hasn't been a seasonal issue — it's been a part of everyday life.

With consecutive years of record high temperatures and scarce rainfall, some climate researchers are hinting at the possibility that California has actually been in a protracted state of “mega drought,” which means the impact of climate change could be much more severe across the state.

As residents continue to adjust to a warmer, drier days and nights and increasingly devastating fire seasons, climate experts warn that the sustained extreme weather will have a severe impact on both the region's urban area and agricultural sectors.

Daniel Cayan, a researcher of climate, atmospheric science and physical oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, joined Midday Edition on Tuesday to discuss the issue.