Scaremongering from the University of Nebraska

A press release from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln proclaims “U.S. Drought Monitor shows record-breaking expanse of drought.” It goes on to say “More of the United States is in moderate drought or worse than at any other time in the 12-year history of the U.S. Drought Monitor, officials from the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln said today.” Twelve year history? I suppose the headline is correct for their tiny data set (barely however, 2002 and 2003 were nearly as dry as 2012). The headline is very misleading.

Too bad they didn’t check with the now 112-year record at the National Climate Data Center (NCDC) here to get a longer historical perspective. The graphs below from NCDC show that drought was more widespread and more severe in 1934.


US-drought-June-1934-300x272This looks like an example of deliberate cherry-picking of drought history data with the goal of grabbing headlines and perhaps funding.

See more here.

See more about droughts here:

Drought in the West

Droughts in the Southwest put in perspective

El Niño, bristlecone pines, and drought in the Southwest

University of Arizona Scientists Find Evidence of Roman Period Megadrought