If you look outside right now, do you see sunshine, or mostly clouds? Is it windy? Is it hot or cold? Whatever your answers to those questions are, that is your weather for today. What is normal for a place depends on its elevation how high above sea level it is , how close it is to the oceans or other large bodies of water, and its latitude how close or far it is from the equator.
Because these changes or variations can occur, we consider drought to be a normal part of climate just like floods, hurricanes, blizzards, and tornadoes. The water that exists today is the same water that existed billions of years ago.
It falls from the sky as rain or snow into our oceans, lakes, and rivers and onto land. Water in streams and rivers is carried to the oceans, where it evaporates and forms clouds—where the cycle starts all over again! We will always have the same amount of water on the earth, but we can't always use as much as we need. One reason is that 97 percent of the earth's water is saltwater, and saltwater is not good for people and wildlife and many plants. Of the remaining 3 percent, which is freshwater, nearly 75 percent is frozen in glaciers, making it unavailable to us.
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Water evaporating from the oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams moves to the atmosphere. Air carries the moisture up, and if conditions are right, it forms clouds. Wind moves these clouds around the globe. The jet stream changes its pattern with each season. In other words, the jet stream will carry weather patterns, such as precipitation and temperature, in different directions or over different routes during each season.
When the jet stream hits a road block or takes a certain detour and is not bringing the clouds that produce rain, a drought can occur. These patterns in the jet stream could change for many reasons. Scientists are still uncovering the answers, but many think that influences such as differences in the amount of snow and ice cover, the amount of vegetation trees or grasses covering the land, the moisture in the soil, and ocean surface temperature and currents can cause these patterns to change.
Drought has many causes. It can be caused by not receiving rain or snow over a period of time. If you live in a place where most of the water you use comes from a river, a drought in your area can be caused by places upstream from you not receiving enough moisture. There would be less water in the river for you and other people who live along the river to use. People can also play a big role in drought.
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If we use too much water during times of normal rainfall, we might not have enough water when a drought happens. Earlier we learned that droughts are normal parts of climate just like floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Working paper Bendapudi, R. Poster Working paper Davies, J. Share on. How can we better understand and manage the impacts of droughts? Drought does not work alone.
Vulnerability to groundwater drought in semi-arid areas of western Ahmednagar District, India. Marathi information brief. Recognising the dynamics that surround drought impacts.
Drought conditions growing in Alabama
Hydrogeological delineation of groundwater vulnerability to droughts in semi-arid areas of western Ahmednagar district. Climate adaptation and water scarcity in southern Africa. When drought hits hard: A photo essay from Ethiopia. Domestic water, health and wellbeing: Gendered trade-offs in times of scarcity. Social differentiation and adaptive responses adopted by farmers in a water scarce landscape: The case of groundnut farmers in the Lawra and Nandom Districts.
Changing groundwater regimes and geosystem services of Nagawara catchment, Bengaluru district. Kati FM climate change radio show: Drought management. Kati FM climate change radio show: Drought. Using Transformative Scenario Planning to think critically about the future of water for productive use in Omusati, Namibia.
Using Transformative Scenario Planning to think critically about the future of water in rural Jalna, India. Using Transformative Scenario Planning to think critically about the future of water security in Bangalore.
Drought and Your Health
Thinking critically about the future of water security in Bengaluru, India using Transformative Scenario Planning. Spotlight on water. The role of climate information and advisory services in drought resiliency: A comparative case study in Tamil Nadu, India. Wellbeing as a way of looking at vulnerability and response to drought in Onesi, Namibia.
Causes of drought
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Rural Namibia water management gives regional lessons. What Cape Town can learn from Windhoek on surviving droughts. Lessons from semi-arid regions on how to adapt to climate change. Adaptation or maladaptation: Case of farm ponds converted into storage tanks in Maharashtra: Implications for groundwater governance.