Submerged Forest Suggests Massive Sierra Drought

September 12, 2012

Scientists say a forest submerged on the bottom of a Sierra Nevada lake holds evidence of a massive drought hundreds of years ago.

As Nevada and much of the country endures one of the worst drought years in recent memory, scientists continue studies of a Sierra drought they say likely dwarfed any event of modern times.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports stands of trees rooted more than 100 feet beneath the surface of Fallen Leaf Lake is evidence of a serious drought that dropped the lake level at least that much and allowed mature trees to grow centuries ago.

Researchers call it a “mega-drought,” and say it lasted a long, long time.

Scientists say the research raises questions about what is considered “normal” precipitation and climate in the region.

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