view-climate-droughtGovernment forecasters predicted Thursday that the weather system known as El Nino could return this year. It could bring much-needed rain to the West. Ninety-five percent of California is in drought, and some scientists are now warning of a megadrought. Scientist Lynn Ingram uses sediment cores inside tubes to study the history of drought in the West. “We’ve taken this record back about 3,000 years,” Ingram says. That record shows California is in one of its driest periods since 1580. While a three-to-five-year drought is often thought of as being a long drought, Ingram says history shows they can be much longer. “If we go back several thousand years, we’ve seen that droughts can last over a decade, and in some cases, they can last over a century,” she says. MORE