Sustainable development substantially reduces the risk of future drought impacts

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Springer Nature
Drought is a major natural hazard that can cause cascading impacts on socioeconomic sectors, and its risk is expected to increase under future climate change and socioeconomic developments. However, a comprehensive cross-disciplinary drought risk outlook is currently lacking to support integrative disaster risk reduction efforts. To address this gap, our analysis examines drought exposure, vulnerability, and risk towards the end of this century under four future pathways. The study identifies the Mediterranean, Amazon, southern Africa, and Central America as the most impacted regions where extreme multivariate drought is projected to become two to four times more likely. Our analysis also shows that sustainable development would reduce population exposure to drought by 70% compared to fossil-fueled development. Furthermore, it halves the number of countries facing a fivefold increase in drought risk. Our results underscore the critical need for a cross-disciplinary drought risk outlook and emphasize the importance of considering exposure and vulnerability for risk assessments.
© The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Communications Earth & Environment, 2023, available online at: . Keywords: climate-change impacts; natural hazards; sustainability; water resources.
Tabari, H., Willems, P. Sustainable development substantially reduces the risk of future drought impacts. Commun Earth Environ 4, 180 (2023).