Wednesday, February 09, 2011

No news is bad news

Records have been set around the world in the last year in rainfall, snowfall, floods, and mudslides - we know, because storms and inundations are in the news. What about the droughts happening where all that precipitation has not been happening? You hear about them only where they catch fire, which tends to be during record heatwaves - themselves news events. When drought is so severe that there's nothing to burn - in India, in China - there's nothing to report. Or when the Amazon dies tree by tree. Well, we'll have plenty more occasions to learn how to think about drought in the coming years, if the predictions of the National Center for Atmospheric Research's Aiguo Dai, are anywhere near right. The maps below show severe droughts coming to the most settled parts of the world. (Red-purple-white is drought.)
You can see the results animated here.

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