The mega-drought of 2022
Are the droughts of 2022 three major droughts or one mega drought?
Three major droughts or one mega-drought? Those who study the scope of these events that hit the northern hemisphere this year, from China to Europe to the western United States, tend to see them as part of a whole, or more exactly having the same origin.
Global warming was indeed making observed soil dryness 5 times more likely to occur, and up to 20 times more likely for what is known as root soil dryness.
According to 21 researchers from six countries brought together by the World Weather Attribution (WWA) coalition, Europe's very dry summer — the worst in decades — could be 3 to 4 times more likely to occur on this continent, in the new climatic conditions now observed on the planet.
WWA is a consortium that specializes in researching links between extreme weather events and climate change. He also reported earlier this year on the role of changing climate in Brazil's torrential rains and Pakistan's catastrophic floods. The authors focused this time on the northern hemisphere, with the exception of tropical regions, with particular attention to Europe.
They also used soil condition as a measure of drought, rather than, as other researchers have done previously, the level of streams or the amount of rainfall. As this measure is essential for the growth of plants and the survival of part of the local fauna, very low soil humidity is sometimes called an “ecological drought”.
It is necessary to remember that beyond the effects of heat waves on people's health, these weather conditions also had, among other impacts, major agricultural losses, threats to aquatic life, water shortages and more of fires. In addition to a hike in the grocery bill, a drop in hydroelectric power generation and a decrease in river trade.
Summers with “humidity very low surface soil” like this year, are destined to reproduce once every 20 years at the rate the planet is warming. Rather than once in 400 years.
Link to original article