famine Archives - State of the Planet

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What Caused the Great Famine?

Scientists are unraveling the driving forces of one of the worst environmental disasters in human history, in hopes of predicting and preparing for the next global drought.

by |December 15, 2017

The Sahel Is Getting Wetter, But Will It Last?

New research gives a unifying explanation of the Sahel’s past, present and future climate patterns.

by |May 9, 2013

Video: Is Drought In East Africa The New Normal?

A video interview with climate scientist Bradfield Lyon, who explains his latest research on what’s driving rainfall patterns in parts of East Africa.

by |May 3, 2012

Climates Services: Must Help Us Understand Risks

The point is setting priorities right, and for an agency like the World Food Programme, our focus is of course vulnerable people in the most vulnerable countries, countries where climate change is a multiplier of hunger risk. –- WFP’s Carlo Scaramella, in the fifth in a series of video interviews.

by |February 24, 2012

Health Risks From Famine Likely to Persist

Video Short: IRI’s Madeleine Thomson discusses the short- and long-term health risks of the East Africa famine

by |November 9, 2011

Hybrid Climate Data for East Africa

In our latest video interview, climate scientist Tufa Dinku talks about his work on combining weather station data with satellite information to generate high-resolution data sets. These data could be used for making more accurate forecasts and can feed into other climate risk management activities, such as early-warning systems. With funding from Google.org, Dinku and… read more

by |September 28, 2011

Climate Underpinnings of East Africa Drought

Watch a video interview of climate scientist Brad Lyon on the conditions leading up to the ongoing drought in East Africa. He says there’s a chance of La Niña forming later in the year, which could have devastating consequences for a region already plagued by widespread famine.

by |August 10, 2011

Somali Drought; Harbinger of Hard Times

For all its problems, Southern California has been a wonderful home for a lot of people over the past 100 or so years. It has nice beaches, good roads, plenty of places to eat, and, for now, a reliable supply of drinking water. Now imagine the L.A. riots had spread across the entire region, plunging… read more

by |July 19, 2011

Maybe Ben Franklin Was Wrong

A new study says that for all of its ill effects, the Laki volcanic eruption of 1783-84 probably was not the main culprit behind one of the coldest winters in hundreds of years, as many scientists — and contemporary observer Benjamin Franklin — have speculated.

by |April 5, 2011

Punjab: A tale of prosperity and decline

The state of Punjab, located in the northwest part of the country, is known as the breadbasket of India. Punjab produces 20% of the nation’s wheat, 11% of its rice, and 11% of its cotton, from only 1.5% of its geographical area.  Punjab is in trouble, however; groundwater is rapidly decreasing. Water levels have dropped… read more

by |July 28, 2009