Satellite images show just how bad California’s drought is

Satellite images show just how bad California’s drought is

California’s drought is terrifying when viewed from space. The European Space Agency captured a satellite photograph of Angeles National Forest and the San Gabriel Reservoir in Southern California this month and compared it to an image taken around the same time last year to get some perspective on the grim situation.

The environment will be lush and green in 2020, and the San Gabriel Reservoir will be vivid blue. Fast forward to this year, and the same place looks like something out of a Mars film. The San Gabriel Reservoir is nearly empty, and the vegetation is scarred scarlet.

While the year 2020 was terrible for a variety of reasons, it did provide California with a temporary respite from the drought. The longest drought in California lasted from 2011 to 2019. The feeling of relief didn’t stay long. Northern California has seen one of the driest Februarys in more than 150 years, despite the fact that February is generally a drier month.

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When it comes to water shortages, the entire western United States is in peril. More than 80% of it is arid, with over half of the region experiencing “extreme” drought. The largest reservoir in the United States, Hoover Dam, reached its lowest water level in history earlier this month. It serves as a vital source of water for 25 million people in numerous states, including California.

Temperatures that have lately shattered hundreds of records across the United States are sucking the west dry as well. As a result, vegetation has been transformed into tinder for flames. Last year, California experienced its worst fire season on record, with more than twice as many acres burned as the previous state record. Megafires are expected to be more common this year, according to experts.

Last week, Brian Fuchs, a climatologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln who makes maps for the US Drought Monitor, told The Verge, “When we see droughts like this, it dramatically accentuates the fire season.” “Right now, in the Western United States, this is the most extraordinary drought we’ve ever shown on the map.”

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