Mongabay series: Flood and drought

Flood is an overflow of water, while a drought is a prolonged shortage of water. India witnesses both and sometimes, at the same time. Unusual rainfall patterns are becoming commonplace now and trigger disasters such as floods and droughts which are related to the timing of the rainfall, rather than the quantum of rainfall. From long dry spells to excessive rainfall, recent monsoons in India have been seasons of extremes.  The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR6 predicts that south Asia, including India, will see more extreme weather events in the years to come. The Indian subcontinent could witness more heat extremes and droughts, as well as extreme rainfall events, it says. When weather patterns deviate from the norm, farmers, whose livelihoods are tied to predictable weather patterns, are among the many who bear the brunt. This in turn has ramifications for India’s food and water security. In this series, we will look at the trends of floods and droughts in India and the climate crisis that is exacerbating them.

[Explainer] Why do floods occur?

Floods occur when water overflows from water bodies – seas, oceans, ponds, lakes, canals, or rivers – and submerges land which is usually dry. Floods, especially in India, are some…
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