Drought Research

Drought News -- ScienceDaily Drought Research. Read where droughts are predicted, and what can be done about them.

  • Waterbirds affected by low water, high salt levels in lakes
    on March 22, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    A recent study shows food sources for migratory birds decline with low water levels and high salt content in lakes. […]

  • Drought-induced changes in forest composition amplify effects of climate change
    on March 21, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    The face of American forests is changing, due to climate change-induced shifts in rainfall and temperature that are causing shifts in the abundance of numerous tree species, according to a new article. The result means some forests in the eastern U.S. are already starting to look different, but more important, it means the ability of those forests to soak up carbon is being altered as well, which could in turn bring about further climate change. […]

  • Climatologists render skillful predictions of drought and food insecurity that help avert famine
    on March 14, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Last year, 81 million people worldwide experienced severe food insecurity. About 80 percent of them live in Africa. While much of that food insecurity relates to civil war and violence in places like South Sudan and Nigeria, a good portion also stems from a sequence of five severe droughts that began in Ethiopia in 2015 and spread across parts of the continent in the ensuing three years. […]

  • Lack of water is key stressor for urban trees
    on March 13, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    A recent study finds that urban trees can survive increased heat and insect pests fairly well -- unless they are thirsty. Insufficient water not only harms trees, but allows other problems to have an outsized effect on trees in urban environments. […]

  • Desertification and monsoon climate change linked to shifts in ice volume and sea level
    on March 7, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    The East Asian summer monsoon and desertification in Eurasia is driven by fluctuating Northern Hemisphere ice volume and global sea level during the Ice Age, as shown in a new study. Today, two thirds of the world’s population is dependent on agriculture sustained by rains of the East Asian summer monsoon, and future climate change in this region can therefore have a major impact on global food production. […]

  • Tropical forest response to drought depends on age
    on March 5, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    Factors most important for regulation of transpiration in young forests in Panama had to do with their ability to access water in the soil, whereas older forests were more affected by atmospheric conditions. […]

  • Snowpack levels show dramatic decline in western states, U.S.
    on March 2, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    A new study of long-term snow monitoring sites in the western United States found declines in snowpack at more than 90 percent of those sites -- and one-third of the declines were deemed significant. […]

  • Food abundance driving conflict in Africa, not food scarcity
    on March 1, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    In Africa, food abundance may be driving violent conflict rather than food scarcity, according to a new study. The study refutes the notion that climate change will increase the frequency of civil war in Africa as a result of food scarcity triggered by rising temperatures and drought. […]

  • Native wildflowers bank on seeds underground to endure drought
    on March 1, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Native wildflowers were surprisingly resilient during California's most recent drought, even more so than exotic grasses. To see this resilience, UC Davis researchers of a new study had to look underground to the seed bank. Native wildflowers increased the seeds they stored underground by 201 percent during the drought. […]

  • Hidden 'rock moisture' possible key to forest response to drought
    on February 26, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    A little-studied, underground layer of rock may provide a vital reservoir for trees, especially in times of drought, report scientists. […]

  • Tropical trees use unique method to resist drought
    on February 21, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Tropical trees in the Amazon Rainforest may be more drought resistant than previously thought, according to a new study. That's good news, since the Amazon stores about 20 percent of all carbon in the Earth's biomass, which helps reduce global warming by lowering the planet's greenhouse gas levels. […]

  • Europe's cities face more extreme weather than previously thought
    on February 21, 2018 at 2:20 am

    A landmark study of all 571 European cities shows the impact of flooding, droughts and heatwaves by 2050-2100 will exceed previous predictions. […]

  • 'Demographic compensation' may not save plants facing changing climate
    on February 20, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    A large-scale study shows mixed results for hypothesis on how plants deal with climate change. […]

  • Rural ranchers face less access to water during drought than urban counterparts
    on February 16, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    The findings highlight a rural-urban divide and show that ranchers' access to water was neither equal nor valued during the drought in Mexico's Baja California Sur state from 2006 to 2012. […]

  • Genetic limits threaten chickpeas, a globally critical food
    on February 13, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    Scientists have discovered an extreme lack of genetic diversity and other threats to the future adaptability of domestic chickpeas, the primary source of protein of 20 percent of the world's people. But they also collected wild relatives of chickpeas in Turkey that hold great promise as a source of new genes for traits like drought-resistance, resistance to pod-boring beetles, and heat tolerance. […]

  • Stand-alone system to produce drinking water by means of solar energy
    on February 9, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Researchers in applied electrochemistry and electrocatalysis have developed a stand-alone system for desalinating and treating water through electrodialysis. The system is directly powered by solar energy and can be applied in off-grid areas. […]

  • Predicting snowpack even before the snow falls
    on January 22, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    As farmers in the American West decide what, when and where to plant, and urban water managers plan for water needs in the next year, they want to know how much water their community will get from melting snow in the mountains. This melting snow comes from snowpack, the high elevation reservoir of snow which melts in the spring and summer. New NOAA research is showing we can predict snow levels in the mountains of the West in March some eight months in advance. […]

  • human impact on forest still evident after 500 years
    on January 18, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    Researchers have used high-tech tools to more precisely view where these cleared sites were and how much lasting impact they had on the rainforest in the Amazon Basin in South America. […]

  • New study shows producers where and how to grow cellulosic biofuel crops
    on January 16, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    A new report provides practical agronomic data for five cellulosic feedstocks, which could improve adoption and increase production across the country. […]

  • Jet stream changes since 1960s linked to more extreme weather
    on January 12, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Increased fluctuations in the path of the North Atlantic jet stream since the 1960s coincide with more extreme weather events in Europe such as heat waves, wildfires and flooding. The new research is the first reconstruction of historical changes in the North Atlantic jet stream prior to the 20th century. By using tree rings, the researchers developed a historical look at the position of the North Atlantic jet back to 1725. […]

  • Between the lines: Tree rings hold clues about a river's past
    on January 10, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    By analyzing centuries-old tree rings, researchers are extracting data about monthly streamflow trends from periods long before the early 1900s when recorded observations began. […]

  • Study predicts a significantly drier world at 2ºC
    on January 1, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    New research predicts a significantly drier world if global warming reaches 2ºC. Over a quarter of the world's land could become significantly drier and the change would cause an increased threat of drought and wildfires. Limiting warming to under 1.5ºC would dramatically reduce the fraction of the Earth's surface that undergoes such changes. Areas which would most benefit from keeping warming below 1.5ºC include Central America, Southern Europe, Southern Australia, parts of South East Asia, and Southern Africa. […]

  • Climate change: Soil animals cannot explain self-reinforcing effect
    on December 21, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    When the soil warms up, it releases more carbon dioxide (CO2) -- an effect that further fuels climate change. Until now, it had been assumed that the reason for this was mainly due to the presence of small soil animals and microorganisms that would eat and breathe more in warmer temperatures. However, a new study has shown that this is not the case. Quite the contrary: If warmth is accompanied by drought, the soil animals eat even less. […]

  • Life on the edge prepares plants for climate change
    on December 19, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    In the first study to predict whether different populations of the same plant species can adapt to climate change, scientists find that central European ones die first. […]

  • Fish to benefit if large dams adopt new operating approach
    on December 18, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Recognizing that many large dams are here to stay, a team is investigating an emerging solution to help achieve freshwater conservation goals by re-envisioning the ways in which water is released by dams. […]

  • Sorghum cultivars can produce thousands of gallons of ethanol
    on December 13, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    Sweet sorghum is not just for breakfast anymore. Although sorghum is a source for table syrup, scientists see a future in which we convert sorghum to biofuel, rather than relying on fossil fuel. […]

  • New satellite-based global drought severity index unveiled by researchers
    on December 11, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Just in time for the holidays, researchers are rolling out a new satellite-based drought severity index for climate watchers worldwide. […]

  • One wet winter can shake up San Francisco Bay's invasive species
    on December 7, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    For many Californians, last year's wet winter triggered a case of whiplash. After five years of drought, rain from October 2016 to February 2017 broke more than a century of records. In San Francisco Bay, biologists discovered a hidden side effect: All that freshwater rain can turn the tables on some of the bay's invasive species. […]

  • Innovative system images photosynthesis to provide picture of plant health
    on December 7, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Researchers have developed a new imaging system that is designed to monitor the health of crops in the field or greenhouse. The new technology could one day save farmers significant money and time by enabling intelligent agricultural equipment that automatically provides plants with water or nutrients at the first signs of distress. […]

  • Forests are the key to fresh water
    on December 7, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Freshwater resources are critical to both human civilization and natural ecosystems, but researchers have discovered that changes to ground vegetation can have as much of an impact on global water resources as climate change. […]