Classes Climate & Weather: Natural Resources – Drought
Goals Challenging Problems: (1) Themes – Conservation Focused (2) Topics of the Physical World – (a) Climate & Weather (b) Investigating Earth | Intended Learning Outcomes: Instilled Citizenship Values – Lifestyle Respecting Environmental Resources | CTEs & Disciplines: Disciplines – (1) Environmental Engineering
What causes droughts, and how do they affect coastal ecosystems and human communities? Coastal ecosystems provide many benefits to human communities, including food, ports, recreational opportunities, habitats for diverse plant and animal life, and minerals. But these systems are vulnerable to stress from natural processes and human activity. This lesson explores five categories of ecosystem stress, the concept of drought generally and its significance as a natural hazard.
NCEI is responsible for hosting and providing access to one of the most significant archives on Earth, with comprehensive oceanic, atmospheric, and geophysical data. From the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun and from million-year-old ice core records to near real-time satellite images, NCEI is the Nation’s leading authority for environmental information.
The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is a map that shows the location and intensity of drought across the country. The data is updated each Tuesday and released on Thursday. The USDM has been a team effort since its inception in 1999, produced jointly by the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The U.S. Geological Service addresses the hydrology of droughts. While it is relatively easy to define what a hurricane or earthquake is, defining a drought is more subjective. Droughts do not have the immediate effects of floods, but sustained droughts can cause economic stress throughout an area. The word “drought” has various meanings, depending on a person’s perspective, for example, a farmer, meteorologist, water manager or hydrologist.
Drought is a shortage of water over an extended period of time. Droughts are a normal part of a climate cycle. They occur in all climate zones. Drought can be short or span years.
A drought is a period of time when an area or region experiences below-normal precipitation. The lack of adequate precipitation, either rain or snow, can cause reduced soil moisture or groundwater, diminished stream flow, crop damage, and a general water shortage. Droughts are the second-most costly weather events after hurricanes.
Strategies for drought preparedness focus mainly on water conservation. Make these practices a part of your daily life and help preserve this essential resource.
Drought affects more people globally than any other natural disaster. Here’s what causes these prolonged dry spells and how we can mitigate their impact.