The study investigates the global distribution, trends, and drivers of flash drought

Diagram showing the effects of flash drought on grasslands in Oklahoma. The upper photo shows the impact of the flash drought on the ecosystem compared to the photo of the same area without the impact of the flash drought (lower). Credit:

Flash drought is described as a rapidly developing and unexpected period of drought. These flash droughts can have serious impacts on agriculture and ecosystems and cause even more spillover effects.

“given that flash Jordan Christian, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oklahoma and the lead author of a journalized study, says droughts can occur in just a few weeks, creating agricultural implications that are difficult to prepare and mitigate. “. Nature Communications.. “Even when Environmental condition Looks rapidly disadvantaged Drought Development, coupled with hot weather, a persistent lack of rainfall for several weeks can produce flash drought development with associated implications.

“The start and timing of a flash drought is an important factor in its impact on agriculture, as flash drought can significantly reduce crop yields, cause serious economic losses and cause confusion. Food security“” Said Jeffrey Basara, an associate professor of both the Department of Meteorology at the Faculty of Atmospheric Geography and the Department of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences at OU’s Gallory Institute of Technology. Increased risk of wildfires, depletion of water resources, poor air quality, reduced food safety. “

Basara, Executive Associate Director of OU’s Hydrology and Water Security Program, is a Principal Investigator and Christian Faculty Advisor. The OU-led study explores the global distribution, trends, and drivers of flash drought outbreaks.

“Returning to the early 2000s, there was a perception that these flash droughts would occur,” said Bassara. “Some of these droughts progress much faster than usual, just as not all droughts are the same.

“This study is very important because here in the United States, irrigation and other tools can often mitigate some of the impact, but many of these types of events occur where they cannot. “He added. “When it happens in areas that depend on self-sufficiency and require agricultural production to survive, these types of events are truly devastating to the local system and can cause a lot of socio-economic turmoil. I have.”

This study identifies the global “hotspots” for flash droughts from 1980 to 2015. Of the 15 sites analyzed, eight were identified as the areas with the most flash droughts, accounting for at least 20% of the total land. Area used for agricultural production.

“The interesting thing about flash drought is that there are several priority zones around the word,” Bassara said. “One of the more interesting aspects of this particular task was that we were able to begin identifying these zones. Often we associate drought with a lack of rainfall. For these flash drought events, about the factors. Half is under-rainfall, and the other half is what we call a “mass of hostile layers” – it’s really hot and dry. “

The researchers say these regions include the “Corn Belt” in the Midwestern United States, barley production in the Iberian Peninsula, wheat belts in western Russia, wheat production in Asia Minor, and rice-producing regions in India and the Indochina Peninsula. Explains. Corn production in northeastern China, and millet and sorghum production throughout the Sahel.

The study investigates the global distribution, trends, and drivers of flash drought

Map of flash drought – Average flash drought frequency. It is expressed as the percentage of years when a flash drought occurred between 1980 and 2015. Credit:

In 6 of the 15 regions, the incidence of flash drought increased statistically significantly over the 36 years surveyed, while in 3 regions the frequency of flash drought decreased significantly. It is still unclear why outbreaks increased in some areas and decreased in others.

“Several regions of the world have seen an increase or decrease in flash drought over the last 40 years, but it is also very important to know which regions will be more vulnerable to flash drought risk in the future.” Said the Christian. “This is especially Agricultural productionChanges in the frequency and timing of flash droughts create additional challenges during the growing season. This study provides the basis for building and investigating important questions about future trends in flash drought outbreaks. “

“When the flash drought events were investigated, one thing was clear,” Christian added. “Timing is all in terms of the impact of these events.”

In 2019, Christians and Bassara developed a way to start identifying flash droughts. The methodology helped researchers begin to better understand these events.

“When I enrolled in the PhD in 2017, when Dr. Jeff Basara and I discussed the research topic of the dissertation, he said,’I have an idea about flash drought,'” Christian explained. “The idea was translated into creating a way to identify flash droughts, investigating several flash drought events, and eventually led to a global analysis of flash droughts, which turned out to be a pretty good idea. . “

Christian led the study published in Environmental research letter 2020, which investigated the effects of major heat waves in Russia in 2010. The heat wave before that was a flash drought. Due to the effects of these meteorological phenomena, Russia’s wheat yields have declined and Russia has stopped exporting.

“Russia’s largest wheat importers were Middle Eastern countries, so grain prices went through the roofs of the Middle East,” Bassara said. “Arab spring social unrest was partly due to unusually high grain prices and the socio-economic turmoil caused by those prices. Its ripple effect affected the whole other part. Of the world caused by flash drought in part of the work. “

This study gives researchers a better understanding of where flash droughts are likely to occur around the world.

“This study helps us understand where they are happening, but now we need to understand more about why,” he said. “You can see that the mechanism is a little different from place to place, depending on where you are on the planet.

“Due to population growth and food security issues, entering a changing climate system makes this one of the key topics as it has a very serious impact on agriculture and water resources,” he said. I added. “There are chain effects such as wildfires. A better understanding of these flash droughts may lead to a better understanding of their predictability and better planning of these types of events.”

New study shows the impact of “flash drought” in Australia

For more information:
Christians, JIs, and others, global distributions, trends, and drivers of flash drought, Nut commune (2021).

Jordan I Christian et al., The impact of the flash drought development and cascade associated with the 2010 Russian heat wave, Environmental research letter (2020). DOI: 10.1088 / 1748-9326 / ab9faf

Quote: In the survey, flash drought obtained on November 3, 2021 from https: // (November 3, 2021) Investigating the global distribution, trends, and drivers of

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The study investigates the global distribution, trends, and drivers of flash drought

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