Megadrought & Aridity - Come Rain or Shine Podcast

Posted on: 9/15/2022 - Updated on: 9/15/2022

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Megadrought is a term we’ve been hearing a lot of lately, with, as we find out from one of our guests, somewhat varying definitions. The term megadrought is generally used to describe the length of a drought, and not its acute intensity. A related term, aridity, is the degree to which climate lacks effective, life-promoting moisture. Simply put, aridity is permanent, while drought is temporary. But when drought extends multiple decades, as we are currently experiencing, is it actually aridification? We interviewed two experts in drought and aridification, Dr. Connie Woodhouse and Dr. Mike Crimmins, to talk about these different terms, and discuss the changes they have been observing, and hearing about from managers and ranchers in the Southwest.

Affiliated Organizations

USDA's Climate Hubs are a unique collaboration across the department's agencies. They are led and hosted by the Agricultural Research Service and Forest Service located at ten regional locations, with contributions from many agencies including the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the Risk Management Agency. The Climate Hubs link USDA research and program agencies in their regional delivery of timely and authoritative tools and information to agricultural producers and professionals.

The Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center (SW CASC) was established in 2011 to provide objective scientific information, tools, and techniques that land, water, wildlife, and cultural resource managers and other interested parties can apply to anticipate, monitor, and adapt to climate change impacts in the southwestern United States.


Document Type
Adaptation Phase
Target Climate Changes and Impacts