Pliocene-like monsoons are returning to the American Southwest
For researchers seeking to understand the effects of climate change on the weather of the North American Southwest, the answer lies in traveling millions of years back in time on wings of wax—leaf wax. … When the plant dies, those waxes turn into dust that floats on the wind, then drifts down to form layers preserved in marine and terrestrial sediments. Trapped within those sediments is a timeline tracing pictures from prehistoric times: which vegetation flourished, or the intensity of the rainfall. … Monsoons today will likely follow the Pliocene pattern and intensify, but also expand their range in Southern California. … Monsoons will help with drought as the Southwest dries. But they will be stronger, dropping inches of rain in a short time and causing more frequent flooding.
- Los Angeles Times: Podcast - The megaflood, next time in California