More scare stories: Warming Climate May Spread Drying to a Third of Earth, Says Study


Third of the earth? How does one human fathom? Impossible to truly know.

Watts Up With That?

Heat, Not Just Rainfall, Plays into New Projections

The U.S. corn belt and many other regions around the world may be at greater risk of drought by 2100 as warmer temperatures wring more moisture from the soil. The U.S. corn belt and many other regions around the world may be at greater risk of drought by 2100 as warmer temperatures wring more moisture from the soil. (Cathy Haglund, Flickr)

Increasing heat is expected to extend dry conditions to far more farmland and cities by the end of the century than changes in rainfall alone, says a new study. Much of the concern about future drought under global warming has focused on rainfall projections, but higher evaporation rates may also play an important role as warmer temperatures wring more moisture from the soil, even in some places where rainfall is forecasted to increase, say the researchers.

The study is one of the first to use the latest climate simulations to model the effects of both changing rainfall and evaporation rates on future drought. Published this month in the journal Climate…

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