NOAA Study Says 2012 Great Plains Drought Wasn't Due to Climate Change

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Drought Task Force recently released a study which found that the 2012 Great Plains drought, the worst on record in the U.S. since record keeping began in 1895, was not the result of climate change. Instead, the NOAA says that the drought was the result of "natural variations in weather patterns" and not "human-induced climate change."

The 2012 drought affected the states of Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota. It had previously been blamed on climate change.

Dr. Martin Hoerling, senior author of the new report, "An interpretation of the Origins of the 2012 Central Plains Drought", said that while he is an "advocate of global warming...the science also tells that every drought that is occurring isn't a result of climate change."

According to statistics from the National Climatic Data Center, 2012 was the warmest year on record in the U.S. since record keeping began in 1895. The annual temperature in 2012 was 1.0°F warmer than the previous record year 1998.