November 29, 2022

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This summer’s drought in the Northern Hemisphere is certainly linked to climate change

Dry Rhine, municipalities without drinking water in France, Hungry stones A resurgence in the Czech Republic, exceptional drought and heat in China prompting national alerts, half of the U.S. affected… This summer, much of the Northern Hemisphere suffered a historic drought. According to one The study was published on Wednesday, October 5Human-caused climate change has made such episodes at least 20 times more frequent, reducing harvests and increasing tensions in agricultural markets, energy production and water supplies.

The work comes from an international network of scientists called Global Weather Attribution to determine the extent to which the occurrence and intensity of extreme events such as heat waves, floods or storms are affected. .

Read the decryption: The article is reserved for our subscribers How scientists determine if a heat wave is being hit by climate change

This time, a study was conducted on soil drought, known as agricultural drought, this summer. 21 researchers examined soil moisture levels at the surface and recorded up to one meter depth in June, July and August across the Northern Hemisphere except the tropics. They also focused on Central and Western Europe – By August 10, two-thirds of the continent was affected. Using models correlated with field observations, climatologists compared this scenario to past climates with a 1.2°C warmer climate.

“Soil Drying”

The team concludes that climate change in the Northern Hemisphere has made agricultural droughts at least 20 times greater for the one-meter-deep zone — especially important for crops because it’s where plants pump water — and at least 5 times higher. Surface soil is likely. The effects are also important in central and western Europe: warming has multiplied the probability of drought by 3 to 4 times for the one-meter-deep zone and 5 to 6 times for the surface.

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In the current climate, the Northern Hemisphere and Europe are likely to experience such a drought once every twenty years. Conversely, without global warming, it would have happened only once every four hundred years in the Northern Hemisphere and once every sixty to eighty years in Europe.

The global climate attribution results are however cautious, The actual influence of human activities is even more important

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