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Worldwide Water Extremes

  • Global Intensity of Water Cycle Extremes: It has increased from 2002-2021 according to a study in Nature Water.
    • It is a metric that combines extent, duration, and severity of droughts and floods.
    • Understanding past and ongoing extreme weather events, and projecting future events, can help improve preparedness and mitigate impacts.
  • Intense Droughts: It has been found that there was an excess of intense droughts and extreme wet events during 2015–2021, which were also the hottest seven years on record.
    • During this period, the frequency of the most extreme events was 4 per year, compared with 3 per year over the previous 13 years.
    • Monthly dry and wet event intensities were well correlated with global mean temperature.
    • Three of the most intense droughts on record also began in recent years: in the southwestern USA, southern Europe, and southern Brazil.
  •  Wet Event in Africa: The most intense extreme event of the past two decades was a wet event covering all of central Africa, which began in 2019 and is still ongoing.

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