The percentage of Earths land area stricken by serious drought more than doubled from the 1970s to the early 2000s, according to a new analysis by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo. Widespread drying occurred over much of Europe and Asia, Canada, western and southern Africa, and eastern Australia. Rising global temperatures appear to be a major factor, says NCAR scientist Aiguo Dai.
Dai will present the new findings on Weds., Jan. 12th at the American Meteorological Society (AMS) annual meeting in San Diego, Calif. The work also appeared in a paper published in the December issue of the Journal of Hydrometeorology; co-authors are NCARs Kevin Trenberth and Taotao Qian.
The study was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), NCARs primary sponsor. "The results reconfirm the complexity of the climate system," says Cliff Jacobs, program director in NSFs division of atmospheric sciences. "We need to continue to develop a wide variety of research tools to understand these changes."
Cheryl Dybas | EurekAlert!
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