Local weather change elevated drought danger by ‘at the least 20 instances’
According to the agency responsible for the study, the consequences of this drought impacted the agricultural sector in dozens of countries, with low harvests.
At climate changes increased the risk of drought by “at least 20 times” during the past summer in North hemisphere, according to a scientific report published this Wednesday (5).
The drought, which has affected vast regions of Europe, China and the United States, runs the risk of happening now every 20 years with the current climate, instead of every 400 years or even longer, as happened in the past, according to the report of World Weather Attribution (WWA).
O WWA is a network of scientists that studies the relationship between extreme weather events and the global warming.
At consequences of this drought impacted the agricultural sector in dozens of countries, with low harvests and difficulties that had repercussions on world markets.
This situation also favored forest fires and harmed the generation of electricity, in particular that of hydro and nuclear origin.
Because of the heat waves in the North hemisphere (outside tropical regions), the probability of drought multiplied by a factor of “at least 20”, the text details.
This means that at a depth of one meter, forest and agricultural soils suffer a water shortage which affects the roots of plants in a marked way.
“The exact numbers are uncertain”, admit these scientists, who work in prestigious institutes or bodies.
“The true influence of human activities is probably higher”, evaluates the WW.
THE average temperature of the planet has increased 1.2ºC since the pre-industrial era, according to studies by climatologists.
The experts of European Joint Research Center they had calculated that last summer the drought had been “the worst in 500 years.”
“More frequent and more intense”
“The summer of 2022 demonstrated how human-caused climate change increases the risks of agricultural and ecological drought in agricultural and densely populated regions of the northern hemisphere,” said Sonia Seneviratne, professor at the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science in Zurich, co-author of the study.
“We have to stop burning fossil fuels if we want to stabilize climate conditions and prevent these episodes from getting worse again. They will be more and more frequent and intense with increasing warming,” she warned.
In central and western Europe, the probability of drought is lower: between 5 and 6 times less important, according to calculations.
This variability is due only to the extension of the territory and the data analyzed.
“Usually, signs relating to climate changes are more important in larger regions,” explained Friederike Otto of Imperial College London, another co-author of the study, when introducing it to journalists.
“When we look at smaller regions, we find more day-to-day variations in weather in the data,” but this effect “fades out” when larger regions are studied, he explained.