What might happen if droughts were predicted months ahead of time? Food aid and other humanitarian efforts could be put together sooner and executed better, say UC Santa Barbara geographers Chris Funk, Greg Husak, and Joel Michaelsen. After over a decade of gathering and analyzing climate and vegetation data from East Africa, the researchers, who are part of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET), say there is enough evidence to associate climate conditions in the region with projected rainfall deficits that could lead to food shortages.
This year’s catastrophic drought in Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia is thought to be an indirect consequence of the 2010-2011 La Niña. As part of ENSO cycles such droughts come and go – and have been typical for the region … Continue reading