Nearly a third of the world's land surface may be at risk of extreme drought
by the end of the century, wreaking havoc on farmland and water resources and
leading to mass migrations of "environmental refugees", climate experts warned
Predictions based on historical trends in rainfall and surface temperatures
dating back to the 1950s reveal that regions blighted by moderate droughts are
set to double by the end of the century, with tentative data suggesting areas
struck by extreme droughts may soar from 1% today to 30% in 2100.
The most striking impact is expected in parts of southern Europe, North Africa,
western Eurasia and the US, whilst regions of central Africa, east Asia and the
high northern latitudes are due to experience wetter climates.
Researchers at the Met Office's Hadley Centre announced the findings at a
"climate clinic" fringe meeting of scientists, which is running alongside the ...