New study finds Western U.S. megadrought is the worst in 1,200 years

Dry cracked land in California.
(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Western United States is the driest it has been in at least 1,200 years, a new study finds.

The region is experiencing a megadrought, now in its 22nd year, and 2021 was one of the driest years ever recorded, researchers wrote in a study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change. The megadrought does not show signs of getting better anytime soon, the researchers said, and it's believed that 42 percent of it can be directly attributed to human-caused climate change triggered by the burning of fossil fuels, The Associated Press reports.

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