Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chronic droughts to become normal sight in years to come

Many areas of the world have experienced severe droughts in the last two decades, with one the worst drought periods being the chronic drought that hit western North America from 2000 to 2004. The result of this drought was not only dying forests and depleted river basins but also increased climate change impact due to reduction in carbon sequestration.

Since carbon emissions continue to grow these type of chronic droughts could soon become a common sight for many areas all over the world, leading to massive environmental and economic damage. Even worse, these drought may after certain period of time be seen as the good old days because climate change is set to show us even scarier face in years to come.

The chronic droughts lead to massive destruction of vegetation, and this releases more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, further amplifying global warming effect.

The trees and plants are large carbon absorbers and their increased mortality means that their ability to sequester carbon is going to severely decline with frequent droughts and resulting wildfires.
The current drought in the American Midwest is also said to be directly connected with climate change and global warming.  If the world fails to reduce global carbon emissions, the future will look much worse.

The infamous 2000-2004 drought had massive negative impact on precipitation, soil moisture, river levels, crops, forests and grasslands, and this current drought in Midwest could follow this pattern, and was already called the worst since the Dust Bowl.

The scientists from the Oregon State University said in their latest study that „the situation will continue to worsen, and that 80 of the 95 years from 2006 to 2100 will have precipitation levels as low as, or lower than the 2000-2004 drought“.

The worst part of this story is that droughts are just one of many scary faces that climate change has.

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