Oil Drilling May Slow Drought Recovery in Great Plains

As the main driver of climate change, the connection between burning fossil fuels and global warming is clear. But evidence shows they may be connected in another way — the physical footprint of oil and gas development on the landscape may not only contribute to global warming, it may also affect an ecosystem’s ability to withstand it.

New research shows that an area larger than the land area of Maryland — more than 11,500 square miles — was completely stripped of trees, grasses and shrubs to make way for more than 50,000 new oil and gas wells that were developed each year between 2000 and 2012.



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