Drought Research

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

  • Flood frequency of Amazon River has increased fivefold
    on September 20, 2018 at 11:58 am

    A recent study of more than 100 years of river level records from the Amazon shows a significant increase in frequency and severity of floods. […]

  • Diverse forests are stronger against drought
    on September 19, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    Researchers report that forests with trees that employ a high diversity of traits related to water use suffer less of an impact from drought. The results, which expand on previous work that looked at individual tree species' resilience based on hydraulic traits, lead to new research directions on forest resilience and inform forest managers working to rebuild forests after logging or wildfire. […]

  • Most fire in Florida goes undetected
    on September 13, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    A new study indicates that common satellite imaging technologies have vastly underestimated the number of fires in Florida, detecting only 25 percent of burned area. […]

  • Natural mechanism could lower emissions from tropical peatlands
    on September 11, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Scientists have long feared that as Earth warms, tropical peatlands -- which store up to 10 percent of the planet's soil carbon -- could dry out, decay and release vast pools of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, accelerating climate change. A new study however, finds theses swamps and marshes have a natural biochemical defense mechanism that helps them resist decay and could reduce or slow their emissions. […]

  • Drought, conflict and migration in Kenya
    on September 10, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    A new study is the first to use a nationwide survey representing an entire country in sub-Saharan Africa to find connections between droughts, migration and violence. The team surveyed 1400 respondents in 175 locations across Kenya, asking if they had relocated either permanently or temporarily because of drought, if they had been victims of violence, and, using an indirect questioning method, whether they have latent support for the use of violence. […]

  • When it rains, snake bites soar
    on September 5, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Rattlesnakes and other venomous reptiles may bite more people during rainy years than in seasons wracked by drought, a new study shows. […]

  • California: Global warming, El Niño could cause wetter winters, drier conditions in other months
    on September 4, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    New research indicates that what future precipitation California gets will be pretty much limited to the winter months -- think deluge-type rainfall rather than snow -- and non-winter months will be even dryer than usual, with little or no rain at all. […]

  • Mud from the deep sea reveals clues about ancient monsoon
    on September 3, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    The Sonoran Desert is one of the world's most biodiverse deserts, thanks to the annual monsoon, which provide a source of moisture in addition to seasonal winter rains. Researchers were able to access untapped clues about the monsoon's activity during the last ice age, about 20,000 years ago. Their findings help scientists predict how regional climates may respond to future conditions. […]

  • Drought, groundwater loss sinks California land at alarming rate
    on August 29, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    The San Joaquin Valley in central California, like many other regions in the western United States, faces drought and ongoing groundwater extraction, happening faster than it can be replenished. And the land is sinking as a result -- by up to a half-meter annually. […]

  • Drought increases CO2 concentration in the air
    on August 29, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    Researchers have shown that during drier years the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rises faster because stressed ecosystems absorb less carbon. This global effect is so strong that it must be integrated in the next generation of climate models. […]

  • How the forest copes with the summer heat
    on August 29, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Between April and August this year, Switzerland and central Europe have experienced the driest summer season since 1864. Especially the forest seems to suffer from this dry spell. A current study indicates now that native forest trees can cope much better with the drought than previously expected. It is, however, too early to give the all-clear as a consistently warmer and dryer climate might still put our native forests at risk. […]

  • Connectivity explains ecosystem responses to rainfall, drought
    on August 27, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Researchers reveal techniques -- inspired by the study of information theory -- to track how changes in precipitation alter interactions between the atmosphere, vegetation and soil at two National Science Foundation Critical Zone Observatory sites in the western United States. […]

  • Seismic noise tracks water levels in underground aquifers
    on August 22, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    A recent study that used seismic noise to measure the size and the water levels in underground aquifers in California. The technique could even be used to track whether and how aquifers rebound following precipitation, and understand geological changes that might occur as water is pumped out. […]

  • Southern California coast emerges as a toxic algae hot spot
    on August 21, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    The Southern California coast harbors some of the world's highest concentrations of an algal toxin perilous to wildlife and people. The most thoroughgoing assessment of the problem shows it's getting worse due to humanmade and natural conditions. […]

  • California plain shows surprising winners and losers from prolonged drought
    on August 20, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    A long-term study has tracked how hundreds of species in the Carrizo Plain National Monument fared during the historic drought that struck California from 2012 to 2015. […]

  • Previously grainy wheat genome comes into focus
    on August 16, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    An international consortium has completed the sequence of wheat's colossal genome. […]

  • Bird communities dwindle on New Mexico's Pajarito Plateau
    on August 16, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Researchers have found declines in the number and diversity of bird populations at nine sites surveyed in northern New Mexico, where eight species vanished over time while others had considerably dropped. […]

  • Frequent fires make droughts harder for young trees, even in wet eastern forests
    on August 15, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    Forests in the eastern United States may have had it easy compared to their western counterparts, with the intense, prolonged droughts and wildfires that have become typical out west in recent years. But as the climate changes over time, eastern forests are also likely to experience longer droughts. And although wildfires are comparatively rare, prescriptive fires are increasingly used in the east. How will these forests fare in the future? A new study provides answers. […]

  • Next 5 years predicted to be abnormally hot
    on August 15, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    This summer's worldwide heatwave makes 2018 a particularly hot year. As will be the next few years, according to a new study. Using a new method, the study shows that at the global level, 2018-2022 may be an even hotter period than expected based on current global warming. […]

  • California water managers vary in use of climate science
    on August 14, 2018 at 11:59 am

    Lack of climate change adaptation among water utilities can put water supplies and the people dependent on them at risk, especially in marginalized communities, a new article suggests. […]

  • Severity of drought during the Maya collapse
    on August 2, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    The severity of drought conditions during the demise of the Maya civilization about 1,000 years ago has been quantified, representing another piece of evidence that could be used to solve the longstanding mystery of what caused the downfall of one of the ancient world's great civilizations. […]

  • Heatwave and climate change having negative impact on our soil say experts
    on August 2, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    The recent heatwave and drought could be having a deeper, more negative effect on soil than we first realized say scientists. That's because organisms in soil are highly diverse and are responsible not only for producing the soil we need to grow crops, but also provide humans with many other benefits, such as cleaning water and regulating greenhouse gas emissions. […]

  • Trees travelling west: How climate is changing our forests
    on August 1, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Many studies on the impacts of global temperature rise have suggested that the range of trees will migrate poleward and upward. However, new research suggests that more tree species have shifted westward than poleward. […]

  • Monsoon rains found to be beneficial to underground aquifers
    on August 1, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Using a combination of field instrumentation, unmanned aerial vehicles and a hydrologic model, a team of researchers has been studying the fate of monsoon rainfall and its impact on groundwater recharge in the Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico. […]

  • Rice with fewer stomata requires less water and is better suited for climate change
    on July 24, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    A new study finds that engineered rice lines with low stomatal density used just 60 percent of the normal amount of water and were able to survive drought and high temperatures for longer than unaltered plants. […]

  • Coldwater streams may provide refuge against changing climate
    on July 24, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Coldwater stream habitats are vulnerable to effects of climate change, particularly to changes in precipitation and air temperatures that alter their hydrology. Some streams are more likely to act as coldwater refugia -- areas buffered from climate change that enable persistence of the ecosystem and its resources -- and may provide long-term habitat to ecologically and economically important species. […]

  • Scientists use satellites to measure vital underground water resources
    on July 19, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    With the hope of providing water resource managers with better tools to help keep aquifers healthy, a team of scientists are using the latest space technology to look underneath Earth's surface to measure this precious natural resource. […]

  • Using 'shade balls' in reservoirs may use up more water than they save
    on July 16, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    Preventing reservoir evaporation during droughts with floating balls may not help conserve water overall, due to the water needed to make the balls. […]

  • Particulate matter increases drought vulnerability of trees
    on July 16, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    Particulate matter deposits on leaves increase plant transpiration and the risk of plants suffering from drought. Particulate matter could thus be contributing more strongly to tree mortality and forest decline than previously assumed. This is suggested by results from a greenhouse study, in which tree seedlings grown in almost particulate matter free air or in unfiltered air were compared. […]

  • Financial incentives create critical waterbird habitat in extreme drought
    on July 12, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    New research shows how financial incentive programs can create vital habitat for waterbirds, filling a critical need in drought years. Researchers used satellite images to evaluate two issues: 1) the impact of the 2013-2015 drought on waterbird habitat in the Central Valley; and, 2) the amount of habitat created by incentive programs. […]