Drought Research

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

  • New World Atlas of Desertification shows unprecedented pressure on planet's resources
    on June 21, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    The World Desertification Atlas by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre provides the first comprehensive, evidence-based assessment of land degradation at a global level and highlights the urgency to adopt corrective measures. […]

  • Old Man River's unique chemical signature
    on June 13, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Human activity greatly impacts the natural chemistry of the largest river in North America -- the Mississippi River. In a new, large-scale study, geologists have identified a unique chemical signature in the river. […]

  • To forecast winter rainfall in the Southwest, look to New Zealand in the summer
    on June 13, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Scientists have discovered an atmospheric teleconnection that allows them to accurately predict winter precipitation in the southwestern United States by measuring summer sea surface temperatures near New Zealand. […]

  • Warmer climate will dramatically increase the volatility of global corn crops
    on June 11, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    Warmer temperatures by the end of this century will dramatically increase the volatility in global supplies of corn, the most widely grown crop in the world. […]

  • New insight into why Pierce's disease is so deadly to grapevines
    on June 9, 2018 at 12:02 am

    Scientists are gaining a better understanding of Pierce's disease and how it affects grapevines. The disease, which annually costs California more than $100 million, comes from a bacterium called Xylella fastidiosa. […]

  • A little water could make a big difference for endangered salmon
    on June 5, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    A trickle of water flowing through a stream could mean life or death for endangered coho salmon in coastal California. […]

  • NASA soil moisture data advances global crop forecasts
    on June 1, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    Data from the first NASA satellite mission dedicated to measuring the water content of soils is now being used operationally by the US Department of Agriculture to monitor global croplands and make commodity forecasts. […]

  • Tree species vital to restoring disturbed tropical forests
    on May 29, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    A family of trees with high drought tolerance could be crucial in restoring the world's deforested and degraded tropical lands, according to new research. […]

  • Tall and older Amazonian forests more resistant to droughts
    on May 28, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    A new study shows that photosynthesis in tall Amazonian forests -- forests above 30m -- is 3x less sensitive to precipitation variability than in shorter forests of less than 20m. Taller Amazonian forests were also found to be older, have more biomass and deeper rooting systems that enable them to access deeper soil moisture, making them more resilient to drought. The findings suggest that forest height + age are an important regulator of photosynthesis in response to droughts. […]

  • New theory finds 'traffic jams' in jet stream cause abnormal weather patterns
    on May 24, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    A study offers an explanation for a mysterious and sometimes deadly weather pattern in which the jet stream, the global air currents that circle the Earth, stalls out over a region. Much like highways, the jet stream has a capacity, researchers said, and when it's exceeded, blockages form that are remarkably similar to traffic jams -- and climate forecasters can use the same math to model them both. […]

  • Some desert creatures may be able to cope with climate change better than expected
    on May 24, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Ecologists have no doubt that climate change will affect the earth's animals and plants. But how exactly? This is often hard to predict. There are already indications that some species are shifting their distribution range. But it is much less clear how individual animals and populations are responding to the changes. Scientists have been studying nocturnal desert geckos to see how they are adapting to climatic changes. […]

  • Determining effective methods of irrigation as water becomes increasingly scarce
    on May 23, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    US consumers prefer the idea of using fresh water for any watering needs. In most cases, plants irrigated with recycled water saw no negative impact when compared to the same types of plants irrigated with pure, non-recycled water. […]

  • Birds play the waiting game in tough environmental conditions
    on May 23, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    If resources are limited and tough to find, reproductive efforts may fail. In these situations, it may be in an animal's best interests to not defend a territory or to breed at all, but rather focus its efforts on surviving to the next breeding season. A new study presents some of the best evidence on how changes in environmental conditions, specifically droughts, impact the social and reproductive behavior of birds. […]

  • Forest loss in one part of US can harm trees on the opposite coast
    on May 16, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    If a whole forest disappears, new research shows, this has ricocheting effects in the atmosphere that affect vegetation on the other side of the country. […]

  • Carbon satellite to serve as an important tool for politicians and climate change experts
    on May 8, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    A new satellite that measures and provides detailed carbon balance information is one of the most important new tools in carbon measurement since infrared light. The researchers expect the satellite to be a valuable tool for the UN's work on climate change related to the Paris climate accord. […]

  • Dehydration prompts more blood feeding by mosquitoes
    on May 1, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Biologists have found that dry conditions prompted house mosquitoes to seek a blood meal. This could explain why researchers have found higher rates of disease transmission during droughts. […]

  • Scientists project a drier Amazon and wetter Indonesia in the future
    on April 27, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    Climate models predict that an increase in greenhouse gases will dry out the Amazon rainforest in the future while causing wetter conditions in the woodlands of Africa and Indonesia. Researchers have identified an unexpected but major factor in this worldwide precipitation shift: the direct response of the forests themselves to higher levels of carbon dioxide. […]

  • Airborne dust threatens human health in Southwest
    on April 24, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Researchers have found that in the coming decades, increased dust emissions from severe and prolonged droughts in the American Southwest could result in significant increases in hospital admissions and premature deaths. […]

  • Collapse of the Atlantic Ocean heat transport might lead to hot European summers
    on April 24, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Severe winters combined with heat waves and droughts during summer in Europe. Those were the consequences as the Atlantic Ocean heat transport nearly collapsed 12,000 years ago. The same situation might occur today. […]

  • Climate change not the key driver of human conflict and displacement in East Africa
    on April 24, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Over the last 50 years climate change has not been the key driver of the human displacement or conflict in East Africa, rather it is politics and poverty, according to new research. […]

  • Climate change intensifies droughts in Europe
    on April 23, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Global warming will exacerbate soil droughts in Europe - droughts will last longer, affect greater areas, and have an impact on more people. If the earth warms by three degrees Celsius, extreme events could become the normal state in the future. […]

  • Droughts mean fewer flowers for bees
    on April 12, 2018 at 2:08 am

    Bees could be at risk from climate change because more frequent droughts could cause plants to produce fewer flowers, new research shows. […]

  • Discovery of compounds that keep plants fresh
    on April 9, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Scientists have discovered new compounds that can control stomatal movements in plants. Some of the compounds have shown to prevent leaves from drying up and suppress withering when sprayed onto rose and oat leaves. […]

  • Newly discovered hormone helps keep plants from dehydrating
    on April 4, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    Researchers have discovered a small hormone that helps plants retain water when none is available in the soil. The study shows how the peptide CLE25 moves from the roots to the leaves when water is scarce and helps prevent water loss by closing pores in the leaf surface. […]

  • Climate change could raise food insecurity risk
    on April 2, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Weather extremes caused by climate change could raise the risk of food shortages in many countries, new research suggests. […]

  • Trends of US surface water body area over three decades
    on March 26, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    A new research study reveals the divergent trends of open surface water bodies in the contiguous United States from 1984 to 2016, specifically, a decreasing trend in the water-poor states and an increasing trend in the water-rich states. Surface water resources are critical for public water supply, industry, agriculture, biodiversity and ecosystem services. […]

  • 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. […]