Droughts and floods are already intensifying as the world warms, putting solid observational data behind a trend scientists have long predicted and one that’s becoming increasingly visible to ordinary people.
Over the past 20 years, there’s been a sharp increase in both the wettest and driest weather events on the planet, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Water. The research relies on satellite data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, used to measure subtle changes in Earth’s stores of water, including groundwater, surface water, snow, ice, and soil moisture.
It’s a sign of more extremes ahead, said Matthew Rodell, a co-author of the study and a hydrologist at NASA, with the data providing “strong evidence” that climate change is amplifying droughts and floods. “This has been something that’s very difficult to prove,” Rodell said.
Last year alone was marked by devastating floods that left one-third of Pakistan underwater and the ongoing megadrought in the American Sout... Read more