East African drought to continue or not : Researchers expose findings

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A study co-funded by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has linked less eastern and southern African rainfall wit h a warming Indian Ocean.

NASA said in a statement, Wednesday, indicating that, “rainfall in eastern Africa during the rainy season from March through May has declined to about 15 per cent since the 1980s”.

Its scientists stated that, “this is due to irregularities, brought about by rising Indian Ocean temperatures, in the movement of moisture between the ocean an d land”.

“The last 10 to 15 years have seen particularly dangerous declines in rainfall in sensitive ecosystems in East Africa, such as Somalia and eastern Ethiopia,” NASA’s Molly Brown, a co-author of the study, said.

Brown disclosed that the essence of the study was “we wanted to know if the trend would continue or if it would start getting wetter”.

The statement also noted that the scientists discovered declines in rainfall across Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe were linked with increases in rainfall over the ocean.

Also, the lead author, Chris Funk of the University of California-Santa Barbara, said the movement of moisture onshore was disrupted by increased rainfall over the ocean.

“We can be quite certain that the decline in rainfall has been substantial and will continue to be,” Funk said.

“This 15-per cent decrease every 20-25 years is likely to continue,” he added .

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