Drought In The Horn Of Africa Made Worse By Climate Change- WWA Study

The drought in the Horn of Africa has been made worse by human-induced climate change, according to a new report compiled by an international team of climate scientists released on Thursday, reported Aljazeera.

“Human-caused climate change has made agricultural drought in the Horn of Africa about 100 times more likely,” said the report by the World Weather Attribution (WWA) group.

It added that the ongoing drought would not have happened at all without the effect of greenhouse gas emissions.

The study was mainly based on the three areas worst hit by the drought- Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. The three countries have witnessed five failed consecutive rainy seasons since October 2020, described as the worst drought in 40 years.

For the purpose of the study, the WWA scientist team looked at changes in the rainfall pattern in 2021 and 2022 in the affected region. They used computer models and climate observations to find that the long rainfall period in the Horn of Africa, which spans from March till May, was twice as likely to underdeliver due to climate change, and the short rainfall period from October through December became wetter.

As per the report, evaporation from soil and plants has increased significantly due to higher temperatures.

“Without this effect, the region would not have experienced agricultural drought — when crops and pastures are affected by dry conditions — over the last two years,” the report added.

The ongoing drought has led to crop failures and livestock deaths due to which more than 20 million people are now facing acute food insecurity risk.

Joyce Kimutai, a Kenyan climatologist who worked with WWA to tease out climate change’s role, said it is time that the world act and engage differently.

She said it is important to innovate across and throughout food systems and make the best use of data and information, new technologies, and traditional knowledge.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

Related Articles