Drought

Groundwater loss tracked during drought in California’s Central Valley

A new study by researchers from UCLA and the University of Houston reveals significant groundwater loss in California’s Central Valley during the recent drought and sparks questions of sustainability for the important agricultural area. Researchers tracked net groundwater consumption in the Central Valley from 2002 to 2016, which included two droughts, one from 2007 to 2009 and the more severe ...

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New rice fights off drought

Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) have developed strains of rice that are resistant to drought in real-world situations. Published in Plant Biotechnology Journal, 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. The study was carried ...

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Scientists link California droughts, floods to distinctive atmospheric waves

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. Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) found in a recent study that the persistent high-pressure ...

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Climate change predicted to increase Nile flow variability

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 at MIT have found that climate change may drastically increase the ...

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Large wildfire engulfs Valparaiso, Chile

A massive wildfire engulfed the Chilean port city of Valparaiso on January 2, 2017. At least 100 homes have been destroyed, more than 400 people were evacuated and 19 injured. City authorities have issued a maximum red alert. The blaze broke out in the Laguna Verde area and spread to Playa Ancha hill near Valparaiso on Monday, January 2, 2017. As ...

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Hundreds dying from hunger as severe drought grips Somalia

110 people have died from hunger in the past 48 hours in just one region of Somalia as severe drought gripped the country, causing hunger crisis. The death toll was announced by prime minister Hassan Ali Khaire today and it comes from the Bay region in the southwest part of the country alone. Humanitarian agencies report worrying similarities to the 2011 famine, in ...

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Worst harvest in 40 years as drought affects 1.2 million, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is enduring its worst drought in decades and worst harvest in 40 years, affecting more than 1.2 million people. Of them, over 600 000 are children. Sri Lanka’s government said over 1.2 million people have been affected by drought which began last November and continues despite some occasional rainfall.  Drought conditions now exist in all but two of the country’s ...

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Switzerland experienced driest December since 1864

With an average of just 2 mm (0.079 inches) of precipitation, the Swiss lowlands (from Lake Geneva to Lake Constance) experienced their driest December since records began in 1864. In the region’s west, there was no precipitation at all.  “In the long-term average (1981 – 2010), the average December precipitation is around 90 mm (3.54 inches),” MeteoSwiss said and added that ...

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