I’m bringing back the question of the week. This one is inspired by a Christian Science Monitor story, and this stunning map of US drought conditions:
The story, “Drought threatens to darken Obama reelection prospects,” opines in its sub-hed:
With nearly two-thirds of the US enduring drought conditions, food prices are expected to jump ahead of the November election. That could add to voter anxieties about the economy.
Certainly one of the biggest impacts of warming-driven drought and extreme weather is food insecurity (see “Climate Story of the Year: Warming-Driven Drought and Extreme Weather Emerge as Key Threat to Global Food Security” and links below).
And this drought is (almost) as brutal as it gets:
The PDSI [Palmer Drought Severity Index] in the Great Plains during the Dust Bowl apparently spiked very briefly to -6, but otherwise rarely exceeded -3 for the decade (see here). Nearly half the country is now -3 or worse.
If you want to see how these drought indices stack up against the historical record since 1895, click here. For the nation as a whole, the PDSI is in the lowest 1%. Over much of the Midwest is just about the worst ...