Michigan State University is leading a global research effort to offer the first worldwide view of how climate change could affect water availability and drought severity in the decades to come.
By the late 21st century, global land area and population facing extreme droughts could more than double — increasing from 3% during 1976-2005 to 7%-8%, according to Yadu Pokhrel, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering in MSU’s College of Engineering, and lead author of the research published in Nature Climate Change.
“More and more people will suffer from extreme droughts if a medium-to-high level of global warming continues and water management is maintained at its present state,” Pokhrel said. “Areas of the Southern Hemisphere, where water scarcity is already a problem, will be disproportionately affected. We predict this increase in water scarcity will affect food security and escalate human migration and conflict.”
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