Just Released! Order “Waking Up to Climate Change” by George Ropes, and receive 25% Discount. Learn More

Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

HOME          CATEGORIES          OUR TAKE

Global Droughts & Climate Change

Globally  many areas are struggling with intense drought. One of the worst affected is Ethiopia, which has been dealing with drought for over 50 years, impacting over 10 million people. The need for emergency aid has increased for 2016. Ethiopian farmers have been unable to plant for two seasons leaving the country without much of their usual food resources.

International agencies working with the United Nations has been aiding the  Ethiopian government but the need for funds is escalating. A recent request for a $1.4 billion aid package saw less than half that amount pledged.

International Rescue Committee   has been delivering clean water and is helping to establish adequate sanitation. Children are at high risk because of malnutrition and their days are taken up with the desperate search for water rather than going to school. The IRC has been able to fix pump systems in a few villages that make ground water more accessible.

In Nicaragua, a three-year drought coupled with decades of deforestation has nearly emptied the country’s water sources including streams, rivers and lakes. Last month about 60 percent of Nicaragua’s surface water sources had been lost and 50 percent of the country’s aquifers had dried up or had become polluted. Also reported are the disappearance of at least 100 rivers and their tributaries, the contamination of Tiscapa and Nejapa lakes near Managua, as well as lake Venecia on the west coast of Masaya, lake Moyúa in northern Matagalpa and the country’s other large lake, Xolotlán, in Managua. Some of the country’s major bodies of water have record low water levels including the 420 mile Coco river, the longest in Central America, along the northern border with Honduras.

In the Middle East, climate change has contributed to what is believed to be the worst drought there in 900 years. A recently published NASA study found that the Levant region – Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria – has suffered from a nine-century long drought.

The researchers, who published their findings in the peer-reviewed Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, studied the growth of tree rings in the region to determine drought variability across the Mediterranean, which enabled them to documents the region’s historical climate.

“Basically, we used a dataset of dry variability from the region that goes back, with reasonably good accuracy, to 1100 AD, and from that we were able to estimate that the recent drought in the Eastern part of the Mediterranean looks like it was the worst, or driest drought anytime in the last 900 years,” Benjamin Cook, one of the leading authors of the study and a climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The drought, which began in 1998, became particularly severe between 2007-2010.

In California, the four year record breaking drought was broken by  much needed rainfall this past winter. But climatologists claim that the drought isn’t over and even though dry conditions have been abated somewhat, the damage done by the drought to the state’s water supply will be lasting. Long-term reserves in groundwater have been drained to the point that years, even decades, of wet weather would be required to replenish them. Climatologists warn that the changing climate will require permanent changes in water usage habits.

 

 

 

 

Comment on this article

ClimateYou moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (New York time) and can only accept comments written in English.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE


More Posts Like This

CITY TECH BLOG

Climate Change in the New York City Metro Area

There is no doubt that the New York City metro area became one of the richest and most famous cities on Earth due to its access to the Hudson River and Atlantic Ocean. The New York Harbor is one of the most perfect natural harbors on Earth for

CITY TECH BLOG

Cultivating Resilience: Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change

Climate change poses significant threats to global agriculture, impacting the very backbone of human sustenance. Altering precipitation patterns, increasing temperatures, and extreme weather events are disrupting traditional farming cycles and threatening food security worldwide. The agricultural sector is responding to these challenges with innovative adaptive strategies aimed at

CITY TECH BLOG

Global Pandemics & Global Climate Change

Do global pandemics and global climate change affect each other? How? In my point of view, I can say it is affirmative that global pandemics and climate change can affect each other in many ways. Here is how they both affect each other. The degradation of the environment