Nature Study Shows Drought Increases Under Global Warming

A study produced in the journal Nature shows that as global warming intensifies, so does the severity of drought conditions.

The study tracked both aridity changes from 1923-2010 and sought to increase the accuracy of various models showing the effects of climate change on drought conditions. Generally, the study found that global warming, combined with warming seas resulted in large areas of dryness in North America, South America, Europe, and Southern Africa.

Drought conditions were seen to become most severe in Europe and in the Amazon. But increasingly severe drought was predicted for much of the United States as well. The maps show dramatically severe conditions, with the US experiencing increasing drought conditions as the climate becomes extremely severe within 30-90 years.

Many of these drought areas affect the world’s breadbaskets as most areas of the globe are expected to see increasing drought from higher levels of heat and moisture evaporation. The few areas of increased moisture are constrained primarily to Canada and Siberia.

From the report’s abstract:

“I conclude that the observed global aridity changes up to 2010 are consistent with model predictions, which suggest severe and widespread droughts in the next 30–90 years over many land areas resulting from either decreased precipitation and/or increased evaporation.”

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Links:

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1633.html

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