Satellite images show just how bad California’s drought is

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California Copes With Worsening Drought
LAKE ISABELLA, CA - JUNE 14: In an aerial view, cattle graze on June 14, 2021 near Lake Isabella, California. Authorities are bracing for a predicted driest year on record for the Kern River, carrying only about a quarter of its average Sierra snowmelt water to Lake Isabella. The water level of the lake continues to dip below 16 percent capacity and large portion of the west are now in the most extreme drought category, with fire officials warning of another devastating wildfire season in California. | Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Seen from space, California’s drought is horrifying. To get some perspective on the dire situation, the European Space Agency took a satellite image of Angeles National Forest and the San Gabriel Reservoir in Southern California this month and compared that to an image taken around the same time last year.

In 2020, the landscape looks lush and green and the San Gabriel Reservoir is bright blue. Fast forward to this year, and the same location is so dry it looks like a scene out of a Mars movie. The forest is scarred red, and the San Gabriel Reservoir is almost empty.

While 2020 was awful for plenty of other reasons, it did give California a brief break from drought. The Golden State’s longest drought persisted from 2011 to 2019. The...

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