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Scientists warn of widespread drought in the 21st century ( JANUARY 28, 2022)

Titre : Scientists warn of widespread drought in the 21st century

Drought is among the most damaging natural hazards in the world, often causing severe losses to agriculture, ecosystems and human societies. ( JANUARY 28, 2022)

Historical records of precipitation, streamflow and observation-derived drought indices all show increased aridity since 1950s over several hotspot regions, including Africa, southern Europe, East Asia, eastern Australia, Northwest Canada, and southern Brazil.

The study suggests that the latest projections from CMIP6 models reaffirm the widespread drying and increases in agricultural drought by up to 200 percent over most of the Americas (including the Amazon), Europe and the Mediterranean region, southern Africa, Southeast Asia, and Australia under moderate-high emissions scenarios in the 21st century.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the drought is also expected to last longer and spread wider in the late 21st century (2070–99), Zhao noted.

The model results suggest a decrease in the mean and flattening of the probability distribution functions of drought metrics, despite large uncertainties in individual projections partly due to internal variability. "With rising temperatures, everywhere there’s increasing demand of moisture from atmosphere, and precipitation decreases over many subtropical regions. These are the main driver of the projected widespread and increasing drought," said Zhao.

Source  : Li Yuan, Chinese Academy of Sciences

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Page publiée le 16 janvier 2023