A drought is an extended period of dry weather caused by a lack of rain or snow. Examples of current droughts are the southwestern U.S., Brazil, South Africa and North Korea. Drought conditions could negatively affect agriculture, water supplies, energy production, and other aspects of society. The impacts vary depending on the type, location, intensity, and duration of the drought. During this summer my hometown, Puerto Rico, experience a drought, which in some area the water supplies was limited to 48 hours per week. You can analyze a drought based on the perspective of temperature or precipitation. As temperatures rise due to global climate change, more moisture evaporates from land and water, leaving less water behind. Some places are getting more rain or snow to make up for it, but other places are getting less. Another perspective that raised the vulnerability of a drought is the increase in population and water consumption.
Based on the papers, some droughts (Brazil) are caused by the population growth, others (Syria) were caused by the lack of rainfall linked to climate change; furthermore no role on human-induced climate change was found for the Northeast Asia droughts. However, the report explicitly states that the conclusion of “no influence” may be because to the methodology or observations are not enough to detect the influence. Those uncertainties and limitations rise another reason on why we need to advocate not only for climate change literacy, mitigation & adaptation but also for funding basic scientific research; but this will be a topic for another blog. Below is a video from NASA explaining the Megadroughts projected for American west.
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