2022 was a year of drought

It was a year characterized by severe drought.

In 2022, from North America to Africa, from Europe to Asia, huge swaths of the planet were burned. Lakes and rivers in several countries have dwindled to extremely low levels, and dry conditions have threatened crops and sparked devastating wildfires around the world.

As the world warms, climate change will exacerbate arid conditions on the planet. Research has shown that global warming is exacerbating drought by increasing evaporation, depleting water bodies, and drying up soils and other vegetation.

Here’s what this year’s drought looked like on the four hardest-hit continents.

Asia

In 2022, the world’s largest continent has become a terrible example of the effects of drought and extreme heat in a warming climate.

In March, an early heatwave swept through India and Pakistan, killing at least 90 people as temperatures reached 115 degrees Fahrenheit in some places. The scorching conditions have sparked wildfires in India and caused the rapid melting of glaciers in northern Pakistan, leading to catastrophic flooding and even destroying a bridge in the country’s Hunza Valley. A study published in May by the World Weather Attribution group found that a severe heat wave in India and Pakistan was 30 times more likely due to climate change.

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