THE NORTHERN Plains have experienced frequent and severe weather cycles over the last 2,000 years with some cycles lasting up to 160 years. These findings are from a three-year study conducted by the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota and the St. Croix Watershed Research Station at the Science Museum of Minnesota. The researchers conducted their study on the lake bottom sediments in Devil's Lake, ND.

The researchers learned that weather cycles have been more severe in the past centuries than the very limited current weather records indicate. Future cycles could be more severe.

The EERC researchers report that although this region is currently in a wet cycle, residents should be prepared for a significant drought within the next few decades. An extended drought will greatly threaten current living conditions.