The growing threat of drought
The world is increasingly vulnerable to drought—and the cycle of crisis that comes with it—because of climate change. People in the 21st century and beyond will contend with increasingly unpredictable shifts in climate. Although we know where the climate is headed, figuring out what that means for each year’s weather is a perplexing question.
This uncertainty threatens fundamental political, social and economic stability. Climate determines which crops can grow, when they can grow, where infrastructure is built, and where people can live. In short, civilizations rely on climatic stability to function: the more predictable climate is, the easier it is to make concrete plans for the future. And the more concrete plans are, the more people can accomplish every year.
So when climate changes, it unsettles whole societies. It puts food supplies into question. It renders billions of dollars of infrastructure useless. It disrupts worldwide supply chains, labor markets and trade. It disrupts long-term plans for commercial development. Unlike short-term, weather-related disasters, climate change is a long-term, global event. The changes we will experience won’t be limited to one country or even one continent. Climate change is by definition a worldwide event.