Three Years Without Rain

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Drought is widespread and worldwide — but a three-year dry spell in the Horn of Africa has incited one of the worst humanitarian crises in our world today.

There is perhaps no more obvious sign of our changing world than more prolonged and more devastating droughts. In this edition of A (CLIMATE) CHANGED PLANET — we look at the realities of droughts and the reasons why these events are likely to worsen as our planet warms.

Worldwide drought impacting millions

From a drought in Brazil that has pushed the Amazon River to its lowest level in over 120 years to the European droughts of last year that claimed more than 60,000 lives, droughts can be felt nearly everywhere in the world — and their severity is only expected to get worse.

  • Droughts have risen by 29% since 2000, and are occurring on every continent but Antarctica and Australia
  • Nearly 160 million children are exposed to drought
  • Only accounting for 15% of natural disasters, droughts claimed 650,000 lives in 50 years
  • Water scarcity, facilitated by droughts, impacts 40% of the planet’s population
  • Droughts are some of the costliest natural-disasters — in 50 years they could cost the global economy $5.6 trillion
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