Over the last two decades an estimated three billion people have been affected by water-related natural disasters such as droughts and floods.
Over the last two decades an estimated three billion people have been affected by water-related natural disasters such as droughts and floods. Climate change is expected to increase the frequency of these hydro hazards, with some prognosticators estimating there will be upwards of $3.7 trillion in water-related damage over the next 30 years in the U.S. alone. Beyond damaging homes and infrastructure, severe wet and dry spells will also devastate crops and deplete water reservoirs.
An increasing area of interest to researchers is the frequency of compound drought and pluvial flooding (caused by quick, heavy rainfall or sustained rainfall beyond the norm), which is when both occur in succession in the same area within a year of each other. Historically, this level of coincidence has been under-examined.
Of similar interest is when the reverse happens: extreme rainfall followed by a meteorological drought. Meteorological drought is when dry weather patterns prevail, which can eventually trigger hydrological drought, leading to dry streams and plunging reservoir levels, such as what happened at Lake Mead in 2022.
Read more at: University of Arkansas
Linyin Cheng (left) and Yichan Li (Photo Credit: University Relations)(