Drought Current Affairs
According to United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2018 report, number of hungry people in world has risen for first time in more than decade. There are now approximately 38 million more undernourished people in the world, rising from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016.
The report is an overview of progress towards achieving 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG), which consists of 17 goals and 169 targets. It was adopted at t UN Sustainable Development Summit on September 25, 2015. The deadline to meet them is 2030.
Key Highlights of report
Key Factors for rinsing Hunger: Conflict, drought and disasters linked to climate change are among the key factors causing this reversal in progress. Violent conflict is now one of the main drivers of food insecurity in 18 countries and it has led to the forced displacement of record high 68.5 million in 2017.
Improvements: The number of people living on less than $2 a day declined from 26.9% of the world’s population in 2000 to 9.2% in 2017. The mortality rate for children under five has dropped by almost 50% the least developed countries.
South Asia: The region (which also includes India) has seen child marriage rates plunge, with girl’s risk of getting married in childhood dropping by 40% from 2000 to 2017. The water stress levels for many countries in region are above 70%, indicating fast-approaching water scarcity. More than nine out of 10 people living in urban areas around world are breathing polluted air, with southern Asia scoring worst in this area. While electricity and sanitation deficits in south Asia are still poor, but efforts are being made to close the gap.
Need to achieve deadline: Just 12 years left to 2030 deadline, achieving 2030 SDG Agenda requires immediate and accelerated actions by countries along with collaborative partnerships among governments and stakeholders at all levels.
Researchers from Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have found that frequency of heatwaves accompanied by drought has increased in magnitude and in area over past three decades in India.
The increases in cocktail of drought and heatwaves were seen particularly in Maharashtra and Southern Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Central India.
Heatwaves (a prolonged period when temperatures approach record extremes) and droughts are destructive even when occurring in separate events, but their concurrence is far more serious. Both phenomena have a serious bearing on water resources, affecting agriculture and human settlements.
The conclusion was based on analysis of rainfall and temperature data of 50 years. Researchers had compared Heatwave Magnitude Index daily (HWMId) — which combines duration and magnitude of heatwaves — and Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), which defines meteorological drought from 1951 to 1981.
In all combinations of heatwaves (3.5 and 10-day events) and drought (moderate or severe) were analysed during this period. It was found that, percentage increase in frequency was most significant in parts of Maharashtra and Southern Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The increase may be due to intricate relationship of land surface processes, soil moisture, evapo-transpiration and local climate.
The area affected b extreme of extreme incident has gone from almost nothing in 1951, to nearly 4% by 2010. Nearly 18% of country’s area on average has been facing at least three days of temperatures above 85th percentile.