The Stream, December 26: Drought Drives Higher Carbon Emissions in Western U.S., Study Claims

The Global Rundown

Drought in the western United States increases carbon dioxide emissions, a new study warns. A tsunami slams the Indonesian island of Java and Sumatra, leaving more than 420 dead. More homes in Scotland are at risk from flooding than previously thought. A monsoon deficit pushes Chennai, India, toward its second water crisis in recent years. Drought continues to devastate Afghanistan.

”Water used to be available 24 hours every day, but now it is only available three to four hours. More than 500 families gather here to get water during these few hours.” –Sayed Ali, a resident of Kabul, Afghanistan, in reference to deepening water shortages in the city. Afghanistan is in the midst of a relentless drought, with precipitation deficits of 70 percent recorded across parts of the country. Al Jazeera

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By The Numbers

284,000 Homes and businesses in Scotland that are vulnerable from rising river and sea levels, versus 108,000 properties that were said to be at risk in 2015. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency says that the increase in properties at risk is largely due to better data and modeling. BBC

54 percent Monsoon deficit in Chennai, India. The city’s reservoirs are currently 14 percent full, prompting officials to draw up a drought contingency plan. If below-average rainfall continues, the Indian city may be forced to rely on desalination and agricultural wells to provide its drinking water. The Times of India

In context: Chennai’s Security Tied to Cleaning Up Its Water.  

Science, Studies, And Reports

From 2001 to 2015, droughts were responsible for roughly 10 percent of average annual carbon dioxide emissions from in California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, according to a new study by Stanford University. Researchers say that drought in the western U.S. led to a drop in hydropower capabilities, forcing states to rely on fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas to bridge the gap. Stanford News

On The Radar

The death toll continues to rise in the wake of a devastating tsunami that hit the Indonesian island of Java and Sumatra on Saturday, killing at least 420. The disaster, which flattened many homes and businesses, was caused by an eruption of Anak Krakatoa, a nearby volcanic island. Medical workers have warned that clean water is running low in the affected areas. Al Jazeera

Kayla Ritter is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied International Relations and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently based in Manton, Michigan. Kayla enjoys running, writing, and traveling. Contact Kayla Ritter

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