Climate Change Made East Africa’s Drought 100 Times as Likely, Study Says
Two and a half years of meager rain have shriveled crops, killed livestock and brought the Horn of Africa, one of the world’s poorest regions, to famine’s brink. Millions of people have faced food and water shortages. Hundreds of thousands have fled their homes, seeking relief. A below-normal forecast for the current rainy season means the suffering could continue.
Human-caused climate change has made droughts of such severity at least 100 times as likely in this part of Africa as they were in the preindustrial era, an international team of scientists said in a study released Thursday. The findings starkly illustrate the misery that the burning of fossil fuels, mostly by wealthy countries, inflicts on societies that emit almost nothing by comparison.
In parts of the nations hit hardest by the drought — Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia — climate hazards have piled on top of political and economic vulnerabilities. The region’s string of weak rainy seasons is now the longest in around 70 years of reliable rainfall records. But according to the study, what has made this drought…