“Not only is it less raining, it’s also getting warmer, so overall soil moisture has decreased.”
This summer, China experienced a long period of high temperatures that lasted more than two months. The longest since records began in the 1960s, according to the China Meteorological Administration.
Extreme temperatures and a severe lack of precipitation have caused the Yangtze, China’s largest river, to shrink. In August, according to official Chinese data, the precipitation in the river’s drainage area was 60% lower than normal.
Although vast areas of southern China suffer from drought, torrential rains in the northern regions have led to floods. The Liao River in northern China has recorded the second highest water level since 1961.
Nationally, precipitation has increased steadily since 2012, says the annual China Climate Change Study.
In July, the Chinese government issued eight drought warnings and more than 13,000 warnings of heavy rain. In 2019, there were more than 28 drought warnings and 10,000 heavy rain warnings for the same period.
drought conditions in eastern Ethiopia, In northern Kenya and Somalia, the United Nations has prompted a warning that some 22 million people may be at risk of starvation.
“We are now in the third year of the very low precipitation associated with warming in that part of the continent,” According to Oxfam.
In Somalia, rainfall in the March-May season has been the lowest in the past six decades. Much of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda also experienced drier than average conditions.
But soil moisture measurements also show that severe flooding has occurred in some countries, such as South Sudan, Mauritania and Senegal.
Many parts of South Africa also experienced much higher than normal levels of precipitation.
A World Bank report in 2021 found that, overall, “compared to 1970-1979, the number of droughts and floods tripled and tenfold, respectively, in 2010-19.”
Drought conditions in Africa put millions of people at risk of starvation, and the American West continues to experience a persistent lack of rainfall.
Drier conditions in the western United States are becoming the norm, with the region seeing years of drier and warmer weather.
In a report released in February, scientists said the most severe drought conditions in the past 1,200 years have occurred in the American West over the past two decades.
This summer, hot, dry weather has caused wildfires in several states and reduced levels of water storage.
According to NASA, Lake Powell, the second largest reservoir in the United States straddling both sides of Arizona and Utah, is at its lowest level since it was filled in the 1960s.
Climate models predict that the region will continue to have much lower precipitation over the next few decades.
“Devoted bacon guru. Award-winning explorer. Internet junkie. Web lover.”