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Africa droughts became more frequent, more intense, and widespread over the last four decades

Phys.org/news (NOVEMBER 3, 2022)

Titre : Africa droughts became more frequent, more intense, and widespread over the last four decades

Vast swathes of Africa have been experiencing more frequent and intense episodes of drought since 1983

Phys.org/news (NOVEMBER 3, 2022)

Présentation
The analysis shows there has been an increase in the annual number of dry and severely dry months in these African regions, as well as an increase in the percentage of their landmass experiencing drought between 1983–2021.

Some African countries—including South Africa, Namibia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)—saw an increase of up to 40% of their landmass impacted by drought in the decade to 2021, compared to three decades ago.

Currently the Horn of Africa, which includes Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, is in its fifth consecutive failed rainy season since the end of 2020, which has plunged millions of people into severe food insecurity. A famine is now projected for the region, especially in Somalia.

These newly identified drought trends, likely related to climate change, will further exacerbate challenges faced by rural and urban communities across Africa. Urgent action is needed to ensure people have access to food, clean water and decent sanitation now and in the future, WaterAid said.

Using data on population exposure in combination with the drought trends, the team of scientists from Bristol and Cardiff Universities found that the five worst-hit drought countries are Somalia, Sudan, South Africa, South Sudan and Namibia. These dryland countries, already in a state of water scarcity due to their aridity, are getting progressively drier over time which signals alarm bells for these regions in the future, the researchers pointed out.

Source  : University of Bristol

Annonce (Phys.org/news)

Page publiée le 16 janvier 2023