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Summer droughts are now 20 times more likely due to climate change.

According to a new study, climate change has increased the likelihood of drought by 20 times, which dried up significant portions of Europe, the United States, and China this summer.

Major rivers dried up because of the drought, which also devastated crops, started wildfires, endangered aquatic life, and caused water restrictions in Europe.

It hit regions of the United States that are already afflicted by drying, such the West, as well as regions where drought is less common, like the Northeast.

China recently experienced its driest summer in 60 years, resulting in the famed Yangtze River being only half as wide as usual.

Researchers from World Weather Attribution, a group of scientists from around the world who study the link between extreme weather and climate change, say this type of drought would only happen once every 400 years across the Northern Hemisphere if not for human-caused climate change.

Now they expect these conditions to repeat every 20 years, given how much the climate has warmed.

According to Maarten van Aalst, a climate scientist at Columbia University and co-author of the paper, ecological catastrophes like the extensive drought and subsequent severe flooding in Pakistan are the ‘fingerprints’ of climate change.

Scientists examined weather data, computer simulations, and soil moisture across the whole region, excluding tropical areas, to determine the impact of climate change on drying in the Northern Hemisphere. They discovered that over the past few months, dry soil conditions have become significantly more likely due to climate change.


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