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How much more moisture the atmosphere takes up in a warmer world

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It's not just that there's drought, there's also something called atmospheric thirst.

Simply put, it means the atmosphere in part of the country is just generally drier than it used to be, so crops will actually need MORE water than they used to, in order to survive.

The Rio Grande Valley is the center of the situation, but researchers found big increases in atmospheric thirst across much of the country in the last 40 years. Climate change is indeed the main cause.

Lead author Christine Albano of the Desert Research Institute--acronym DRI--visits with co-author Dan McEvoy to add details.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. John Baxter is the senior producer, Angela Decker is the producer and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.