Wednesday August 30, 2023


New research shows that wild swings from severe drought to heavy rains are becoming more common with climate change in many parts of the world, and that feedback loops from the land itself are likely contributing to the trend.

The research looked at four decades of meteorological and hydrological data on a global level and found seven regional hotspots around the world where the trend was getting worse: eastern North America, Europe, East Asia, Southeast Asia, southern Australia, southern Africa, and southern South America.

“We are especially concerned with the sudden shift from drought to flood,” said co-author Zong-Liang Yang, a professor at The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences. “Society usually has difficulty responding to one kind of natural disaster like drought, but now you suddenly have floods too. And this has been happening in many places.”

The study was published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment.

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