‘Flash droughts’ are more rapid, world studies show

‘Flash Droughts’ is coming soon, world studies reports

A map of drought conditions across the United States in mid -July 2012, the peak of a lightning drought that devastated crops in the Midwest. Photo: Richard Heim / NCEI / NOAA

Like running water, drought comes quickly – it dries the soil in days to weeks. These events can deplete crops and cause significant economic losses. And according to scientists, the land is drying up faster.

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Texas Tech University have found that while the number of droughts has remained high over the past two years, more and more of them are attending it’s fast. Globally, lightning droughts that come quickly – sending areas to dry conditions within five days – have increased by about 3% -19%. And in areas directly affected by droughts – such as South Asia, South Asia and Central North America – the increase is about 22% -59%.

Global warming is behind the speed of everything, said UT Jackson principal and professor Zong-Liang Yang, who added the results of the study. Demonstrating the importance of understanding electric droughts and preparing for their consequences.

“Every year, we see record -breaking warming events, and it’s a good start for these electric drills,” he said. “Hope and reason [of this research] Minimizing adverse effects. “

The research is published in Nature Communications. The study was led by doctoral student Yamin Qing and Professor Shuo Wang, both of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Electric drought is new to science, with advances in remote sensing technology over the past two years helping to predict when soil dries out. This is an indicator of the magnitude of an electric drought and can be compared to dry conditions as if it were out of the blue.

As the name suggests, the dry season is short, usually only weeks or months. But when they grow up during the critical growing season, they can cause accidents. For example, in the summer of 2012, corn was hit by an electric drought across the United States, leading to about $ 35.7 billion in losses.

In this study, scientists analyzed global hydroclimate data sets using satellite soil measurements to get a global picture of the drought and how it will change over the years. 21 past. The data showed about 34% -46% of electric droughts occurred within about five days. The rest will come out in a month, with growth of over 70% in half a month or so.

When they watched the drought for a long time, they saw that it was very quick.

The study also showed the importance of humidity and weather conditions, as well as the growth of drought when dry and arid conditions change. That’s what makes countries that have changed during the low -lying areas – such as Southeast Asia, the Amazon Basin, and the East Coast and Pacific Ocean of the United States – hotspots. of drought.

“We need to pay close attention to the soft areas with a lot of time for soil dryness and dry air,” Wang said.

Mark Svoboda, director of the National Drought Mitigation Center and founder of the term “flash drought,” said the advancement of dry intelligence technology and simulation tools – according to used in this research – has led to the growth of awareness of impact and consequence. of lightning drought. He said the important task ahead would be to translate this knowledge into global design.

“You can go back and look at the growth of the drought in 2012 and then compare the nature of that instrument,” Svoboda said, which is not part of the research. “We have a well -organized site that does a much better job of looking after these droughts.”


Hot spots explain ‘flash drought’ causes


More information:
Yamin Qing et al, The acceleration of electric droughts induced by the combined power of soil depletion and air dryness, Nature Communications (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-022-28752-4

Presented by the University of Texas at Austin

Directions: ‘Flash droughts’ coming fast, global research report (2022, April 1) retrieved on 1 April 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-04-droughts- faster-global.html

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