Drought may threaten much of globe in coming decades

October 20th, 2010 - 3:02 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Oct 20 (ANI): A new research has revealed that United States, along with other heavily populated countries, face a growing threat of severe and prolonged drought in coming decades.

The research, conducted by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) scientist Aiguo Dai, states that warming temperatures associated with climate change will likely create increasingly dry conditions across much of the globe in the next 30 years.

The drought may reach a scale in some regions by the end of the century that has rarely, if ever, been observed in modern times.

Using an ensemble of 22 computer climate models and a comprehensive index of drought conditions, as well as analyses of previously published studies, the paper reports that by the 2030s, dryness is likely to increase substantially across most of the Western Hemisphere, along with large parts of Eurasia, Africa, and Australia.

In contrast, higher-latitude regions from Alaska to Scandinavia are likely to become moister.

“We are facing the possibility of widespread drought in the coming decades, but this has yet to be fully recognized by both the public and the climate change research community. If the projections in this study come even close to being realized, the consequences for society worldwide will be enormous,” said Dai.

“The increased wetness over the northern, sparsely populated high latitudes can’t match the drying over the more densely populated temperate and tropical areas,” he added.

Previous climate studies have indicated that global warming will probably alter precipitation patterns as the subtropics expand.

The new findings appear in Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change. (ANI)

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