NEW STUDY ON DROUGHT (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Geography)

News-CRUX-10     1st March 2024        

Context: A new study shows India’s agricultural land exposure to drought would reduce by 21% if the global warming threshold of 1.5 ºC above pre-industrial temperatures is met.

Key Point of Study

  • Quantification of Climate Change Risks: A team at UEA analyzed the escalation of climate change risks at a national level as global warming intensifies.
  • Vulnerability to Drought: With 3 ºC warming, over 50% of agricultural land in each country may face severe droughts lasting over a year, as revealed by the study.
  • Urgent Need for Mitigation Efforts: Existing global policies are insufficient to prevent a 3 ºC temperature rise, underscoring the necessity for enhanced mitigation strategies.
  • Multi-Country Risk Assessment: Eight studies, encompassing nations like Brazil, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, and India, illustrate heightened risks including droughts, floods, crop yield declines, and biodiversity loss with each degree of warming.
  • Synthesis of Findings: A comprehensive overview of climate risks from 1.5 ºC to 4 ºC warming is consolidated in a Climatic Change journal publication, providing insights into global implications.
  • Benefits of Limiting Warming to 1.5 ºC: Capping warming at 1.5 ºC could mitigate drought exposure by 21% to 61% in countries like India and Ethiopia while reducing economic losses from floods.


  • About: It refers to a transient decrease in the availability of water or moisture, falling below the typical or anticipated amount for a specific duration.
  • Drought Area in India: UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal  the major rice-producing states of India  are in the grips of drought in the absence of enough rain.
  • Impact of Drought
  • Water shortage: By 2050, over three-quarters of the global population, around 4.8-5.7 billion people, may experience water scarcity for at least one month annually, up from the current 3.6 billion.
  • Migration: By 2030, an estimated 700 million people worldwide could be displaced due to drought.
  • Mortality: Over the past century, drought has claimed over 10 million lives, with 90% of these deaths occurring in developing countries.
  • Poverty: Severe droughts have pushed nearly 13 million people in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Odisha below the poverty line, causing a loss of nearly $400 million during a drought year.
  • Agriculture impact: India's predominantly rainfed agriculture, constituting 60% of the sown area on average, is significantly affected.