Climate change increases drought risk, severity

Large parts of the Americas, Eurasia, Africa and Australia will face an increasing risk of severe and prolonged drought this century as a result of climate change, a new study has confirmed. Authored by Aiguo Dai of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in the US, the study modelled how climate change will affect the various causes of droughts, including amount of precipitation and rate of evaporation.

"We are facing the possibility of widespread drought in the coming decades, but this has yet to be fully recognised by both the public and the climate change research community," Dai says. "If the projections in this study come even close to being realised, the consequences for society worldwide will be enormous."

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