Climate Change Making Droughts Faster, More Furious
Climate change is making droughts hit harder and faster, giving farmers even less time to prepare, a study published Thursday in Science finds. In addition to the impacts on regular droughts, so-called "flash droughts" that occur in the growing season cause outsized damage because they come on so quickly as the air gets extremely hot and dry, pulling water right out of plants and soil. A flash drought struck China’s Yangtze River basin last summer, coinciding with extreme heat and wildfires. Another, one of the worst droughts since the 1930s Dust Bowl, hit the central U.S. in 2012, causing $30 billion of damage. Both flash droughts developed in less than a month.
(Climate Signals background: Drought)
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