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Climate Change and Drought: Consequences and Mitigation

Recently, droughts have become more frequent and intense because of the aggravating consequences of climate change. Due to their presence, they have had a profound influence on the ecosystems, economies, and human societies. Therefore, it is imperative to acquire a thorough comprehension of the dynamic attributes of droughts and employ a highly efficient strategy to effectively adapt and reduce their impacts.

Droughts are recognized as prolonged intervals of exceptionally reduced rainfall, resulting in the scarcity of water. The correlation between climate change and drought lies in the fact that rising temperatures disrupt precipitation patterns, leading to alterations in the distribution of rainfall and an elevated probability of extended periods of dryness. According to an article from Yale Climate Connections, “Every half degree Celsius (0.9 degree Fahrenheit) the atmosphere warms, noticeable increases will occur in some regions in the intensity and frequency of droughts that harm agriculture and ecosystems”. As the Earth’s temperature rises, it can be seen the way  it limits precipitation on the land, putting the regions at risk for factors such as agriculture.

There are various fields droughts can impact. Ecologically, extended water scarcity has a detrimental impact on ecosystems, resulting in the loss of habitats, decreased biodiversity, and increased susceptibility to wildfires. In an article from Global Change Biology, “Prolonged drought affects the distributions of species, the biodiversity of landscapes, wildfire, net primary production, and virtually all goods and services provided by forests”. The agricultural sectors undergo the negative impacts of droughts, manifesting as reduced crop yields, livestock fatalities, and economic struggles.

Additionally, water shortage presents substantial obstacles for human populations, placing access to safe drinking water, sanitation systems, and food security at risk. According to Water.org, “Nearly 1 million people die each year from water, sanitation and hygiene-related diseases which could be reduced with access to safe water or sanitation”. It can be said that the predominant step in hygiene relies on attaining accessibility in clean, substantial water.

Considering some of the different threats droughts pose on the Earth, it is important to adapt and mitigate this nature. Among the diverse solutions, the widely known method is water conservation. Based on Earl’s Plumbing Sewer & Drain Cleaning, “A faucet or shower head that leaks 120 drips per minute wastes 11 gallons per day, or 330 gallons per month. This could cost $6 per month”. Many people might not put much thought into it, when in fact 330 gallons is enough to shower 19 people in 10 minutes if, as per Portland.gov, “The average shower uses roughly 17 gallons of water”.

Another solution in preventing droughts is investing in alternative water supply sources such as desalination plants. Desalination is known as the process of separating the sodium found in seawater to make the water drinkable and use it in agriculture. As the global energy leader known as Ibedrola mentions, “Water covers 70% of our planet and it is easy to think that there is more than enough. However, fresh water is scarce around the world — it only makes up 3% — and two thirds of this are not available, as it is in the form of ice or is inaccessible”. Although costly, it may be key to solving water shortage in the future.

Droughts present substantial obstacles to ecosystems, economies, and human welfare, which are further intensified by the impacts of climate change. It is necessary to adopt a holistic and unified strategy to effectively respond such as water preservation, expansion of water resources, and proactive measures. By adopting proactive measures and promoting cooperation locally and globally, society can strengthen its ability to withstand droughts and minimize the negative effects that are present.

 

Image: https://www.impact-initiatives.org/what-we-do/news/climate-watch-data-on-climate-related-risks-in-vulnerable-contexts/

Citations

Means, Tiffany. “Climate Change and Droughts: What’s the Connection? ” Yale Climate Connections.” Yale Climate Connections, 11 May 2023, http://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2023/05/climate-change-and-droughts-whats-the-connection/. Accessed 17 April 2024.

Clark, James S., et al. “The Impacts of Increasing Drought on Forest Dynamics, Structure, And …” Wiley Online Library, 21 Feb. 2016, http://www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcb.13160. Accessed 17 April 2024.

“The Water Crisis: Shortage, Problems & Solutions.” Water.Org, http://www.water.org/our-impact/water-crisis/. Accessed 18 April 2024.

“This Is How Much Water (and Money) a Leaky Faucet Wastes.” Scaran, 30 Jan. 2023, http://www.scaran.com/blog/plumbing-service/this-is-how-much-water-and-money-a-leaky-faucet-wastes/. Accessed 18 April 2024.

“Saving Water in Your Home.” Portland.Gov, www.portland.gov/water/water-efficiency-programs/save-water-home. Accessed 19 April 2024.

Iberdrola. “Seawater Desalination: A Method for Combating Scarcity?” Iberdrola, www.iberdrola.com/innovation/desalination. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

 

 

 

great way to introduce a main idea

 

It is always important to give- in your own words- a summary of that quote you used and it was a good example of that!

 

Just a question—is this study based on people across the United States? in other countries?

 

this can be worded differently

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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.

2 Responses

  1. You my friend brought lots of big words and big ideas into this essay you wrote which inspires me to look deeper into droughts even more how and in what ways it affects climate change! keep up the good work my man

    1. your comments are too short and does not add any additional information to the blog’s subject matter. Please re-submit

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