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Timely study on rising groundwater offers hope for drought-stricken East Africa

Phys.org/news (OCTOBER 19, 2022)

Titre : Timely study on rising groundwater offers hope for drought-stricken East Africa

New research indicates better groundwater supply management could hold the key to help combat the impact of climate change in East Africa, where countries are currently facing the worst drought and food insecurity in a generation.

Phys.org/news (OCTOBER 19, 2022)

Présentation
Findings showed the total rainfall within the main rainy season, called the ’long rains’, is declining across the Horn of Africa Drylands but rising in the other rainy season, known as the ’short rains’.

These trends, which apply to Ethiopia, Somaliland, Somalia, and Kenya, led the researchers to investigate below ground water storage, a potential lifeline for drinking water provision, during these periods. Results revealed water storage has been increasing in recent decades, despite the drying effects of the declining ’long rains’ season which historically deliver more rain cumulatively than the ’short rains’ season.

Lead author Dr. Markus Adloff, who conducted the study as a researcher in the School of Geographical Sciences at Bristol, says that "this was surprisingly paradoxical, but also hugely significant as it points to a possible silver lining that may support climate adaptation. Our findings suggest groundwater may have the potential to support increasingly food and water insecure rural populations in the Horn of Africa drylands."

In order to understand this contradictory finding, the research team examined how the characteristics of the rainfall may have changed over time. By analyzing rainfall data, the researchers found that heavy rainfall is becoming more common in the "short rains" season and is generally high in the ’long rains’ season.

Source  : University of Bristol

Annonce (Phys.org/news)

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