Children from a village in Papua New Guinea’s Western Highlands Province stand in one of countless sweet potato gardens destroyed by frost across the country, August 2015.
Papua New Guinea is now facing a drought and frosts that look set to be worse than 1997, when hundreds of people died. So how can memories of 1997 save lives over the next few months?
Really dry: a Colorado River aqueduct in southern California.
Historical analysis shows that natural forces are behind California’s drought, but global warming has contributed 8%-27% to the drought’s severity.
People in the Philippines have been warned to brace for wet and wild weather, as this year’s El Nino shapes up to be the strongest since 1998.
EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGO/AAP
The seesaw between El Niño and La Niña is set to get stronger with global warming. Signs are that this year and next will deliver a big swing from one to the other, prompting fires and floods across the world.
One more California wildfire from last year: getting more dangerous and more expensive.
The US West – suffering one of the most damaging wildfire seasons this decade – needs to break with current practices to avert more costly and dangerous wildfires in the future.
High and dry: a water-stressed forest in the US Southwest.
Forests take longer than expected to rebound from droughts, diminishing their role as global carbon sinks.
Plants in South Africa’s Western Cape area have tremendous variation in their sensitivity to drought.
Understanding how different species are likely to respond to drought is crucial to accurately predicting the impact of future climate change on plant communities.
In a hotter, drier West, who, besides fish, will be most harmed?
James Marvin Phelps/flickr
Hydrologists, climate scientists and policymakers are beginning to grapple with a difficult question: who will be affected most by longer and more frequent droughts?
Historic: weather patterns similar to what’s causing the drought in California are happening in Brazil.
The same persistent weather pattern bringing hot, dry conditions to California is likely connected to a punishing drought in the Sao Paulo area in Brazil.
How low can it go? The Hoover Dam in May.
As California enters another hot dry summer, policymakers from water and electric utilities are looking at ways to preserve these interdependent resources.
Go with the flow: scarce water has allowed Outback species to persist for millennia, where otherwise they might have died out.
The Outback covers 70% of Australia, and its water is precious and scarce. Yet there is no joined-up plan to monitor and manage Outback water, despite the wealth of species and communities that depend on it.
Cutting emissions will limit health damages and bring about important health improvements.
Pedro Ribeiro Simões/Flickr
Tackling climate change is the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century, a team of 60 international experts today declared in a special report for the medical journal The Lancet.
Water makes all the difference for agricultural crops.
US Geological Survey
The majority of water that people use goes to agriculture. In a drier, hungrier future, we'll need to use what water we have with less waste. Technologies being developed now will help.
The de-greening of America.
Americans love their lawns but are lawns good for America, particularly in drought-stricken areas? A look at our grassy love affair and what might be better alternatives.
Universities on the leading edge.
With emergency water rationing in place, how are universities – and other major water consumers – going to conserve?
A broken paddle on parched earth, one result of four years of drought in California.
What explains the unusually dry and warm weather that's behind California's prolonged drought? And how is climate change contributing?
More land than water: almond trees account for 10% of the state’s water reserves, according to some estimates.
California is blessed with so much agricultural land that no matter how much the state conserves or produces, there will also be an economic incentive to consume more water.
Warming seas suggest El Niño is on the horizon.
El Niño is officially on, and comparing it to previous events suggests it could be big one, perhaps leading to record-breaking temperatures.
El Niño is often associated with drier conditions in winter and spring in eastern Australia.
Tim J Keegan/Flickr
El Niño is officially here according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
The threat of an El Niño has not gone away for Australia.
This last year we were preparing for an El Niño. But then it all just fizzled out. So what happened? And could this be the year?
Drought-reduced crop yields could threaten food supply in Australia.
The Australian Academy of Science has warned that sick, older, poor and isolated Australians are at most risk from the health impacts of climate effects such as drought, fires, floods and heatwaves.