Drought, characterized by insufficient rainfall and water scarcity, is a result of rainfall variability.
In India, the South West Monsoon (June-September) contributes over three-fourths of the annual rainfall, making it a key factor in drought occurrences.
The irregularities in the South West Monsoon, marked by dry spells and high temperatures, play a crucial role in drought proneness.
State governments in India declare drought based on factors such as rainfall patterns and agricultural performance.
- New research indicates a rise in the frequency and rapid development of flash droughts worldwide, with human-induced climate change identified as a significant contributor.
- Flash droughts occur more frequently in tropical regions, including India, Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Amazon basin.
- Humid tropics, like those in India, experience more flash droughts due to the sudden failure of rains, leading to rapid dehydration of the soil.
- According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Asia is the most disaster-prone region globally, with 81 weather-related disasters in 2022, affecting over 50 million people and causing substantial economic losses.
- The increase in global temperatures has intensified extreme weather events, contributing to the prevalence of flash droughts.
- Government data from Karnataka reveals that the state has faced drought in 16 of the 23 years since 2001.
- The current year’s drought is particularly severe, with the state declaring drought in 195 taluks, including those in Bengaluru Urban, due to a deficient South West Monsoon.
Amazon Rainforest Drought:
- The Amazon rainforest is currently grappling with an intense drought, resulting in the drying up of vital rivers.
- Indigenous communities in the region are facing a crisis with no access to water, food, or medicine due to the impact of the drought.
The examples from Karnataka and the Amazon highlight the critical implications of flash droughts on regions, affecting agriculture, water resources, and communities.
As climate change exacerbates these phenomena, understanding and mitigating the impact of flash droughts becomes imperative for sustainable development.
Governments and international bodies must collaborate on adaptive measures to address the increasing vulnerability of regions to climate-induced disasters.