Flash Droughts and Climate Change

Flash Droughts and Climate Change

News: A recent study found that flash droughts occurred more often than slower ones in tropical places like India, Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and the Amazon basin.

What is a Flash Drought?
 Flash drought is the rapid onset or intensification of drought. It is set in motion by lower-than-normal rates of precipitation, accompanied by abnormally high temperatures (heat waves), winds and radiation.
 They generally occur during warm seasons and tropical/humid places are more vulnerable.

What are factors that causes Flash Drought?
 Flash drought can be caused due to climatic patterns, such as El Nino (in Asia) and La Nina (eastern Pacific) events.
 Higher temperature increases evapotranspiration
 If not predicted early enough, changes in soil moisture can cause extensive damage to agriculture, economies, and ecosystem goods and services.

Why are humid tropics more susceptible to Flash droughts?
 The wet seasons there are usually rainy enough to keep land and vegetation damp. But when the rains fail unexpectedly, the equatorial heat can desiccate the ground to devastating effect.
 Flash droughts occurred more often than slower ones in tropical/humid places like India, Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and the Amazon basin.

What are mitigation measures?
 Closely observing changes in the rate of evapotranspiration and soil moisture have been identified as key early warning indicators.
 Vulnerability mapping to help policymakers, and farmers plan in advance

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