4 Natural and Human Causes for Drought

Droughts are one of the most dangerous types of natural disasters. What constitutes a drought varies from place to place, but overall it is characterized by a lack of precipitation over a long enough period of time to cause damage. While droughts happen naturally, there are also human triggers for this “creeping” disaster. Here are at least 4 that we know of:

Natural causes

Weather patterns

Air circulation is constantly moving water around and changing its pattern. When the timing is thrown off, it can disrupt rain and snowfall which affects the amount of water available.

Land and water temperatures

Rising surface temperatures means more water evaporating. Coincidentally, this also affects weather patterns. Dry areas become more susceptible to drought while areas that get more rain can experience extreme storms.

Human causes

Water supply and demand

When a population rapidly expands in one area it can put a strain on the supply of water. This often leads to over irrigation and poor water management, which left unchecked can result in a drought.

Bad agricultural practices

Intense farming and practices like deforestation can destroy soil and its ability to absorb water. Unhealthy soil cannot retain moisture to create groundwater or clouds.

By being more conscious of these natural and human “triggers,” we can better defend against dry-spells and drought.