(From McClatchy-Tribune Regional News - The Arizona Daily Star - Tucson, Arizona)
Byline: Tony Davis
The 50 years ending in 2000 were the Southwest's warmest for at least 600 years, underscoring studies showing that human-caused climate change is heating up the region.
But the area's climate experts can't say the area's continued drought is also due to long-term climate change.
While the Southwest suffered its worst drought from 2000 to 2010 since at least 1900, several much longer and more severe "megadroughts" lasting up to 60 years occurred between the years 100 and about 1600. These are conclusions of the first Southwest Climate Assessment, a document prepared by more than 100 researchers around the West and released in summary form this week. The assessment is a regional version of global climate reports issued regularly by the International Panel on Climate Change, a group established by the United Nations.
The new report was released at a Southwest Climate …