The authors say the main reason for this is a weather phenomenon called El Niño – which occurs every few years, when sea water in the eastern Pacific Ocean is warmer than normal.
90% of the world’s population lives in the southern hemisphere
according to page science alertThe results are based on satellite data and stream flow measurements, allowing the authors to model and calculate changes in water availability.
The amount of available water includes rainwater, groundwater, and surface water (ponds, lakes, rivers, streams) that serve many human uses. Especially, water is required for daily use.
The new analysis shows that water availability has declined significantly in South America, much of Africa and central and northwestern Australia. In contrast, water availability in the Northern Hemisphere remains more or less balanced.
This is partly due to widespread human impacts such as irrigation, dams and food production. About 90% of the world’s population lives in the Southern Hemisphere.
What happens when the Southern Hemisphere dries up?
According to researchers, what happens in the Southern Hemisphere affects the entire planet.
Drying will create additional pressure on habitats and species. This will impact the human population and ultimately our global food system.
South America, including the Amazon rainforest, is an important habitat for the species and home to many indigenous communities. The drying of tropical forests here will reduce vegetation and increase the risk of wildfires, which could release billions of tons of carbon currently trapped in forest vegetation and soils.
South America is also an exporter of soybeans, sugar, meat, coffee and fruits to the global market. Changes in water availability here will put pressure on global food supply chains.
Dry African lands are also a real challenge. Needless to say, this vast continent often has limited resources to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
North Western Australia is one of the country’s vast wilderness areas. Drying will change vegetation patterns and if emissions rates remain high, temperatures will rise further, possibly above 35 degrees Celsius for most of the year between now and 2100. This will have serious impacts on human health and living environment.
Similarly, drought in central Australia impacts the weather and climate of coastal areas, where most of Australia’s cities and population are concentrated.
Drought is also occurring in the south-west and south-east of the country, causing stress and habitat change, forest fires, drying up of rivers and impacts on human health, especially in urban areas…
(tags to translate) Southern Hemisphere (T) arid (T) El Nino (T) water sources (T) Amazon tropical forest