Is Drought Increasing?

| 7 November 2022
minute reading time

Yes – now 20 times more likely because of the climate crisis

Extreme weather events such as heatwaves, floods, storms and droughts are becoming more frequent in many parts of the world as a result of climate change.

From the beginning of May to mid-September, five back-to-back heatwaves blanketed large swathes of Europe and monthly maximum temperature records were broken across Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Hungary and Slovenia. In Europe alone, there were 24,000 heat-related deaths. Parts of China and North America also suffered intense heatwaves.

The World Weather Attribution group found that the record drought of 2022 could be expected once every 20 years in today’s climate but only every 400 years without climate change.


World Weather Attribution. 2022. High temperatures exacerbated by climate change made 2022 Northern Hemisphere soil moisture droughts more likely.

About the author
Dr. Justine Butler
Justine joined Viva! in 2005 after graduating from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology. After working as a campaigner, then researcher and writer, she is now Viva!’s head of research and her work focuses on animals, the environment and health. Justine’s scientific training helps her research and write both in-depth scientific reports, such as White Lies and the Meat Report, as well as easy-to-read factsheets and myth-busting articles for consumer magazines and updates on the latest research. Justine also recently wrote the Vegan for the Planet guide for Viva!’s Vegan Now campaign.

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