Changes in jet stream, storm tracks, linked to prairie drought patterns

New findings from a Candian study may help experts better predict future drought patterns and water availability in the prairies. The researchers investigated records of drought over the past 2000 years from lake sediments in the northern Canadian prairie region (Manitoba to Alberta), as well as from sites in North Dakota and Minnesota. “Our results from the Canadian prairies show a previously unknown and abrupt shift in climatic conditions around AD 700, while in the northern U.S. prairies, the shift occurred 500 years later, at the onset of the Little Ice Age in North America,” says one of the team’s lead scientists.

Global Warming, Climate Changes May Make Mass Extinction Unavoidable

Worldwide efforts to protect plant and animal species may not be enough to avoid a mass extinction in the face of unexpected climate changes and global warming, says an international team of researchers. While the Earth’s climate is never stable, natural records of the past — such as fossils, ice cores, corals, and lake sediments — reveal that the species and ecosystems of today evolved within a specific range of climate conditions. The scientists are concerned that human activities, such as increased carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, may push the climate outside of its current range, with devastating impacts on species around the globe.