Study: 'Megadroughts' may be recurring in region

Posted: Updated:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- New research by a University of Arizona team suggests that "megadroughts" may be a recurring feature of the region's climate.

The Albuquerque Journal reports ( http://bit.ly/v27qDr ) that the study provides the most detailed record of climate in the San Juan and Rio Grande basins - the river basins that provide much of New Mexico's water supply - over the last 2,000 years.

The study, being published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, comes from a grove of bristlecone pine found in the mountains near Summitville, Colo.

The study also found that tree rings from the headwaters of the Rio Grande show a 50-year drought from 122 to 172 AD.

Scientists have long known about similar drought a thousand years later but it was never clear whether that drought was unique.

---

Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.