The Effect of Global Warming on Drought
- Warmer temperatures increase the probability of droughts and make droughts more severe. The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reported that global warming increased the frequency of droughts in the western United States over the last 30 years.
- Drought conditions convert wooded areas into tinderboxes, increasing the risk of wildfires. NRDC reported that 2006 set records in reported fires and number of acres burned.
- Scientists estimate that global warming will lead to more severe conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, an area already affected by lengthy droughts.
- The United States drought from 1999 to 2002 was one of the most extensive in the nation in the last 40 years, according to the NRDC.
- Drought conditions in agricultural areas negatively affect crop yields, resulting in lower production and higher food prices.