Drought Research

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

  • Keeping California's natural gas system safe
    on June 19, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    The massive natural gas leak at Aliso Canyon shined a light on California’s aging natural gas infrastructure. And five years of extreme drought also exacted its toll on transmission pipelines. Now the researchers have been awarded millions by the California Energy Commission for two projects aimed at improving the safety and reliability of the state’s natural gas system. […]

  • Dryland cropping systems research addresses future drought and hunger issues
    on June 16, 2017 at 1:37 am

    The projected world population by 2056 is 10 billion. If researchers succeed in improving the yield potential of 40 percent of global land area under arid and semi-arid conditions, it will lead to a significant contribution to future food security. […]

  • 1976 drought revealed as worst on record for British butterflies and moths
    on May 31, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Scientists have revealed that the 1976 drought is the worst extreme event to affect butterflies and moths in the 50 years since detailed records began. […]

  • Summer rainfall in vulnerable African region can be predicted
    on May 25, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Summer rainfall in one of the world's most drought-prone regions can now be predicted months or years in advance, climate scientists say. […]

  • LA lawns lose lots of water: 70B gallons a year
    on May 24, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    In summer 2010, Los Angeles was losing about 100 gallons of water per person per day to the atmosphere through the evaporation and plant uptake of lawns and trees. Lawns accounted for 70 percent of the water loss, while trees accounted for 30 percent, according to a new study. […]

  • Groundwater loss tracked during drought in California's Central Valley
    on May 18, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Significant groundwater loss in California's Central Valley during the recent drought and sparks questions of sustainability for the important agricultural area, a new study reveals. […]

  • Heat on for Australia's Great Barrier Reef when global temperatures hit 1.5C
    on May 15, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Scientists have modeled how extremes in precipitation, drought, extreme heat and ocean temperatures will change in Australia at global temperatures 1.5°C and 2°C above pre-industrial conditions. It doesn't bode well for Australia's Great Barrier Reef. […]

  • Warmer temperatures cause decline in key runoff measure
    on May 11, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Since the mid-1980s, the percentage of precipitation that becomes streamflow in the Upper Rio Grande watershed has fallen more steeply than at any point in at least 445 years, according to a new study. […]

  • Home styles linked to water use levels
    on May 4, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Affluent neighborhoods with lawns -- and occasionally swimming pools -- use up to 10 times more water than neighborhoods with higher density housing with less landscaping, according to a study. […]

  • Hydrological drought amplifies wildfires in Borneo’s humid tropics
    on May 2, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    The area of wildfires in Borneo during drought years turns out to be ten times larger than during non-drought years, an international research team reports. The fires recurrently affecting Borneo's humid tropical ecosystems have negative influence on the biodiversity and lead to large carbon dioxide emissions, affecting atmospheric composition and regional climate processes. Future droughts in wet tropical regions will likely increase in frequency and severity, and consequently the fire risk, the team says. […]

  • Climate change predicted to increase Nile flow variability
    on April 24, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    The unpredictable annual flow of the Nile River is legendary, as evidenced by the story of Joseph and the Pharaoh, whose dream foretold seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine in a land whose agriculture was, and still is, utterly dependent on that flow. Now, researchers have found that climate change may drastically increase the variability in Nile's annual output. […]

  • Scientists link California droughts, floods to distinctive atmospheric waves
    on April 6, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    The crippling wintertime droughts that struck California from 2013 to 2015, as well as this year's unusually wet California winter, appear to be associated with the same phenomenon: a distinctive wave pattern that emerges in the upper atmosphere and circles the globe. […]

  • New rice fights off drought
    on April 4, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    New strains of rice that are resistant to drought in real-world situations have now been developed by researchers. The study reports that transgenic rice modified with a gene from the Arabidopsis plant yield more rice than unmodified rice when subjected to stress brought by natural drought. […]

  • Even short-duration heat waves could lead to failure of coffee crops
    on March 30, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    'Hot coffee' is not a good thing for java enthusiasts when it refers to plants beset by the high-temperature stress that this century is likely to bring. […]

  • 'Weather whiplash' triggered by changing climate will degrade Midwest's drinking water
    on March 29, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    New research shows weather whiplash in the American Midwest's agricultural regions will drive the deterioration of water quality, forcing municipalities to seek costly remedies to provide safe drinking water to residents. […]

  • Mustard seeds without mustard flavor
    on March 28, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Researchers have successfully developed a new oilseed crop that is much more resistant to heat, drought and diseases than oilseed rape. […]

  • Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
    on March 28, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Dust from as far away as the Gobi Desert in Asia is providing more nutrients than previously thought for plants, including giant sequoias, in California's Sierra Nevada mountains, a team of scientists have found. […]

  • Satellites reveal bird habitat loss in California
    on March 27, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Reduced seasonal flooding of wetlands and farm fields in California's Sacramento Valley threatens a key stopover site for migratory shorebirds, a new study shows. Landsat satellite images reveal that flooded habitat is most limited during peak spring migration when the birds urgently need resting and feeding sites. Near the peak of migration, an area of seasonally flooded land twice the size of Washington, D.C. has been lost since 1983. […]

  • Farming becoming riskier under climate change
    on March 27, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Climate change is predicted to impact agriculture, but a new study puts these changes in terms that are directly applicable to farmers. For Illinois, the corn planting window will be split in two to avoid wet conditions in April and May. Each planting window carries increased risk -- the early planting window could be thwarted by frost or heavy precipitation, and the late window cut short by intense late-summer drought. […]

  • Extreme weather events linked to climate change impact on the jet stream
    on March 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Unprecedented summer warmth and flooding, forest fires, drought and torrential rain -- extreme weather events are occurring more and more often, but now an international team of climate scientists has found a connection between many extreme weather events and the impact climate change is having on the jet stream. […]

  • Under the Dead Sea, warnings of dire drought
    on March 22, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Nearly 1,000 feet below the bed of the Dead Sea, scientists have found evidence that during past warm periods, the Mideast has suffered drought on scales never recorded by humans -- a possible warning for current times. Thick layers of crystalline salt show that rainfall plummeted to as little as a fifth of modern levels some 120,000 years ago, and again about 10,000 years ago. […]

  • Water conservation messaging effectiveness during California's ongoing drought
    on March 16, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    The results of a state-wide study on the communication campaigns California has been employing to address its ongoing drought. The study looked at current message strategies aimed to reduce residential water use in California. […]

  • Looming crisis of the much decreased fresh-water supply to Egypt's Nile delta
    on March 13, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    A multi-year study of Egypt's Nile Delta places the country's major breadbasket at serious risk. The soil-rich delta evolved as the result of natural conditions involving the Nile's fresh water flow and transport of sediment northward from Ethiopia, across the Sudan and Egypt to the Mediterranean. […]

  • Vicious circle of drought and forest loss in the Amazon
    on March 13, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Logging that happens today and potential future rainfall reductions in the Amazon could push the region into a vicious dieback circle. If dry seasons intensify with human-caused climate change, the risk for self-amplified forest loss would increase even more, an international team of scientists finds. If however there is a great variety of tree species in a forest patch, according to the study this can significantly strengthen the chance of survival. […]

  • US grasslands affected more by atmospheric dryness than precipitation
    on March 7, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    According to 33 years of remote sensing data, productivity of US grasslands is more sensitive to dryness of the atmosphere than precipitation, important information for understanding how ecosystems will respond to climate change. […]

  • 'Traveling' droughts bring new possibilities for prediction
    on March 7, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Droughts can travel hundreds to thousands of kilometers from where they started, like a slow-moving hurricane. A new study sheds light on how these droughts evolve in space and time, bringing vital new insight for water managers. […]

  • Future climate change will affect plants and soil differently
    on March 7, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    A new study has found that soil carbon loss is more sensitive to climate change compared to carbon taken up by plants. In drier regions, soil carbon loss decreased but in wetter regions soil carbon loss increased. This could result in a positive feedback to the atmosphere leading to an additional increase of atmospheric CO2 levels. […]

  • Calculating recharge of groundwater more precisely
    on February 28, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Current models underestimate role of subsurface heterogeneity, researchers suggest in a new article. Groundwater is a vital resource in many regions around the globe. For managing drinking water, the recharge rate is an important quantity for securing sustainable supplies. […]

  • Researchers detail genetic mechanisms that govern growth and drought response in plants
    on February 24, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Research outlines how the genetic pathways that govern growth and stress response in plants sometimes clash. The research could lead to better performing crop varieties. […]

  • Melting polar ice, rising sea levels not only climate change dangers
    on February 24, 2017 at 1:20 am

    Climate change from political and ecological standpoints is a constant in the media and with good reason, suggests a new study, but proof of its impact is sometimes found in unlikely places. […]