Dry weather that lasts for an extended amount of time is known as a drought. severe crop damage and water supply shortages. It also causes impacts on vegetation, animals, and people. It can also be called a long-term drought. period with less-than-average amounts of rain or snow in a particular region. There are leading causes of drought-like lack of rainfall, deforestation resulting from cutting down of trees, drying out of rivers and lakes, soil degradation, hunger and famine, climate change, and others.
Hunger and famine are among the most causes of drought Droughts result in insufficient water being available to support food crops, whether through natural precipitation or irrigation using reserve water resources. People go hungry when a drought undermines or destroys food sources, and famine occurs when a severe drought lasts for an extended period. The most egregious example is the famine in Ethiopia in 1985, which was caused by a lethal mix of a severe drought and a dangerously inept government, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.
Climate change also causes drought, which impacts increasing precipitation in wet regions and decreasing precipitation in dry parts as temperatures rise. Heated air will hold more water in wetter regions, resulting in more significant rain events. In contrast, in drier places, warmer temperatures will cause water to evaporate more quickly, resulting in smaller rain events. Climate change also modifies significant atmospheric circulation patterns, leading storm tracks to deviate from their regular trajectories and become more severe. In turn, this amplifies the severity of extreme weather events, which is one of the reasons climate models project that the already arid United States Southwestern or the Middle East will likely get drier in the future. ( Ummenhofer,2009)
Soil degradation occurs whenever protective plant cover, particularly forest cover, is destroyed, exposing the soil beneath the surface. Furthermore, intensive farming, which entails deep plowing and the application of chemicals that degrade soil structure, is an often observed cause. A reduction in soil cover or structure limits the soil’s capability of absorbing and holding water, resulting in increased runoff and a reduction in the amount of allocated time for water to infiltrate the lower layers of soil. As a result, soils dry out quickly and cannot promote the growth of vegetation and commodities, resulting in agricultural droughts in the near term. This is particularly severe in countries such as Sub-Saharan Africa, where soil moisture is essential for agriculture in 95 percent of the country. As a result of increased runoff and decreased infiltration and precipitation of rainwater into soils, there is little groundwater contributing to the system, resulting in a longer-term hydrological drought. (Haile,2019)
The over-irrigation (which depletes water supplies) and over-farming (which negatively impacts the soil structure) of land, both legitimate agricultural practices, can frequently result in drought. It is also possible that deforestation will result in a drought since eliminating tree cover renders soil more sensitive to erosion factors such as wind and water. As a result, human activities can either produce a drought or exacerbate the effects of dryness caused by extreme weather changes, depending on the situation (Epule et al., 2014)
Deforestation is the cutting down of trees. Trees release moisture to the atmosphere, resulting in clouds forming and rainfall falling, returning the moisture to the ground. Less water is available to feed the water cycle when they are cut, making entire regions more vulnerable to drought.
Epule, E. T., Peng, C., Lepage, L., & Chen, Z. (2014). A critical review is the causes, effects, and challenges of Sahelian droughts. Regional environmental change, 14(1), 145-156.
Haile, G. G., Tang, Q., Sun, S., Huang, Z., Zhang, X., & Liu, X. (2019). Droughts in East Africa: Causes, impacts, and resilience. Earth-science reviews, 193, 146-161.
Ummenhofer, C. C., England, M. H., McIntosh, P. C., Meyers, G. A., Pook, M. J., Risbey, J. S., … & Taschetto, A. S. (2009). What causes southeast Australia’s worst droughts?. Geophysical Research Letters, 36(4).