Thursday Top of the Scroll: California drought driven by Australia’s wildfires and La Niña — study
California’s recent drought flared into the state’s driest three-year period on record before its abrupt end this spring, and few people saw it coming. Research published Wednesday suggests that the drought and the climatic conditions behind it had an unlikely driver: the Australian bushfires of 2019 and 2020. According to the groundbreaking study, the massive wildfires thousands of miles away unleashed so much smoke that they triggered a chain of events in the atmosphere, ultimately cooling the tropical Pacific Ocean and hastening formation of a La Niña climate pattern. La Niña, which stuck around for an unusual three winters, is associated with droughts throughout much of California.
- Science: Wildfires may have stoked rare ‘triple-dip’ La Niña
- Yale E360: As Ocean Oxygen Levels Dip, Fish Face an Uncertain Future
- Record Searchlight: How Northern California’s fire season will be affected by a looming weather transition
- Bloomberg: US West Braces for Another Year of Heat and Drought - Weather Watch
- San Francisco Chronicle: Heat wave could bring 90-degree temperatures to these Bay Area cities