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The window of opportunity to address increasing drought and expanding drylands is vanishing

Phys.org/news (MAY 9, 2022)

Titre : The window of opportunity to address increasing drought and expanding drylands is vanishing

Chile, Argentina and the American West are in the midst of a decade-long, megadrought—the driest conditions those regions have seen in a century. And many areas in Western Canada and the United States are experiencing extreme drought—a once in 20-year event.

Phys.org/news (MAY 9, 2022)

Présentation
Drought makes agriculture less productive, reduces crop yields and increases heat-related deaths. It adds to conflict and migration, as marginalized people are dispossessed of their land. In short, it leaves people more vulnerable.

Drought is part of natural climate variability, but it is also one of the many outcomes of climate change that is increasing in frequency and intensity. Droughts that used to occur in dry regions once every 10 years are now projected to occur more than four times a decade, if the Earth’s average temperature warms by 4 C.

Unless countries dramatically reduce their emissions from burning coal, oil and natural gas, we are bound to overshoot the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 C. Dryland areas could expand by a quarter and encompass half of the Earth’s land area, including parts of the Prairies.

Governments need to acknowledge that changes are already happening to dryland areas and that others can no longer be avoided, even with reduced emissions. We need to see better strategies to respond to wildfire, water scarcity and conflict, land degradation and desertification, if we are to reduce the loss of livelihoods and life from drought.

Source  : Margot Hurlbert, The Conversation

Annonce (Phys.org/news)

Page publiée le 16 janvier 2023