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You are browsing the archive for drought Archives - AGU Blogosphere.

12 December 2020

Weekend viewing from #AGU20

We wrapped up the second week of #AGU20 on Friday! Be sure to check out these sessions and events on-demand – you can even catch up on the couch this weekend.

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23 December 2019

Monitoring conflict and climate could help stop famines before they happen

Deaths due to famine have fallen precipitously in recent decades, but undernutrition, which affects one in five children worldwide, remains rampant. Now, researchers are using satellite imagery and social media to detect food-scarce regions before they become full-blown crises.

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25 September 2019

Groundwater and a ‘green drought’

Here in New South Wales (NSW) in southeastern Australia, a long-running drought continues. The government’s water minister Melinda Pavey noted recently that “This drought is more severe than NSW has ever experienced” and some of the worst in living memory.

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28 August 2019

Upper Nile will experience more water scarcity due to hotter, drier periods

An increase in hotter, drier years in the coming decades due to climate change may worsen water scarcity issues in the Upper Nile Basin. These impacts are likely to cause an increase in agricultural failure in Ethiopia and may potentially lead to civil strife, according to the authors of a new study published in Earth’s Future, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

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6 August 2019

How the Pacific Ocean influences long-term drought in the Southwestern U.S.

New research explores what conditions in the ocean and in the atmosphere prolong droughts in the Southwestern U.S. The answer is complex, according to a study published Aug. 6 in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

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27 June 2019

Study finds increased moisture facilitated decline in African fires in Africa

The amount of area burned across Africa declined by 18.5 percent between 2002 and 2016, according to a new study.

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3 June 2019

Update on the groundwater situation in Cape Town

When the Cape Town water crisis first emerged it took almost a year before active contingencies were put in place. Four major ideas were proposed: (1) Intense water restrictions for municipal water users, (2) greywater recycling facilities, (3) groundwater augmentation of water supplies, and (4) desalination.Although not all the proposed ideas came to fruition, there was a significant increase in the installation of well points and boreholes for municipal and private use.

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Loss of Arctic sea ice stokes summer heat waves in southern U.S.

Over the last 40 years, Arctic sea ice thickness, extent and volume have declined dramatically. Now, a new study finds a link between declining sea ice coverage in parts of the Canadian Arctic and an increasing incidence of summer heat waves across the southern United States.

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22 May 2019

Domino Droughts

New research finds one drought can amplify or cause another. Decreased moisture recycling and transport impacts how droughts form and move across continents.

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13 May 2019

La Niña’s effect on droughts can be traced back to U.S. Civil War

The Civil War drought – one of the worst to afflict the U.S. in centuries – occurred in the mid-1850s to the mid-1860s. That drought is infamous for its effects in the U.S. Southwest and parts of the Great Plains, where it led to the near extinction of the American bison and played an important role in changing the course of the Civil War by causing food and water shortages, slowing the advance of part of the Confederate army in 1862.

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28 March 2019

California ‘browning’ more in the south during droughts

Like a climate chameleon, California turned brown during the 2012–16 drought, as vegetation dried or died off. But the change wasn’t uniform. Large areas of the northern part of the state were not severely affected, while Southern California became much browner than usual… 

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19 March 2019

Western droughts caused permanent loss to major California groundwater source

According to new research, the San Joaquin Valley aquifer in the Central Valley shrank permanently by up to 3 percent due to excess pumping during the sustained dry spell.

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23 November 2018

AGU Applauds the Fourth National Climate Assessment

In 1990, President Ronald Reagan initiated the U.S. Global Change Research Program, and Congress mandated that a report be released at least every four years outlining what climate change – past, present, and future – means for the United States. In the decades since, four of  the National Climate Assessments have been released and AGU members have played a role in each one as authors and as contributors of their …

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1 October 2018

Half-degree of warming could have big impact on water availability

Approximately 117 million more people could face water shortages if global temperatures increase 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels compared to a 1.5-degree Celsius increase in temperatures, a new study suggests. The world’s water cycle, including evaporation and precipitation, is expected to intensify with global warming, according to the study. This could affect the distribution of freshwater and constrain the global water supply, which poses risks to national food security, economic prosperity and societal well-being.

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7 August 2018

The Right Answer To The Wrong Question

You’re standing at the South Pole marker at Amundsen-Scott Station, and someone asks “which direction is the South Pole Telescope from here?”  “Go north!”, is a correct answer to the wrong question! Here is another wrong question: Did climate change cause the recent Europe-wide heat wave? Did climate change cause Death Valley to have the hottest month ever reliably recorded on Earth? How about the California fires that are still burning (and …

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20 June 2018

Combating Drought and Desertification to Preserve Human Health

On June 17, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) will observe its World Day to Combat Drought and Desertification. The devastating impacts of drought and desertification on people are highlighted this year, as the UNCCD has made the linkages between desertification and human migration its annual theme. As noted by the UN[i], one billion of the world’s poorest, most vulnerable people in over one hundred countries are at risk, …

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24 May 2017

LA lawns lose 70 billion gallons of water a year

In summer 2010, Los Angeles was losing about 100 gallons of water per person per day to the atmosphere through the evaporation and plant uptake of lawns and trees, new research finds. Lawns accounted for 70 percent of the water loss, while trees accounted for 30 percent, according to a new study.

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16 February 2017

Ancient cave reveals recent droughts in the Middle East were most severe for over a millennium

A stalagmite collected from a remote cave in the Middle East has revealed that recent droughts there were more severe than previously thought, and therefore possibly an important contributing factor for the turmoil in Syria. A research team traveled to Iraq to collect the stalagmite and used it to present the first ever detailed climate reconstruction of the Fertile Crescent extending back 2,400 years.

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16 December 2016

How do you track the mass of a tree over time? Watch it move.

Dancing trees may be able to teach scientists about tree health during a drought, according to a new study.

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1 November 2016

Southeastern U.S. Drought Worsens as Record Heat Arrives

Around 43% of Alabama is in severe or exceptional drought now. Huntsville (in North Alabama) had their hottest Halloween on record Monday with a high of 88 degrees, and it will likely be just as warm or close to it on Tuesday. The drought is a big local story, but it hasn’t gotten much attention nationally. That may be about to change. Records are going to tumble this week from …

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