By Kelly Wakefield
Phew! What a lovely summer we are predicted here in the UK, of course it always seems to be a little more breezy in coastal areas but in the East Midlands a very warm and rain free spring has begun to feel alot like summer. However, as a geographer, the weather is never far from one’s mind and as stories about the very dry spring continue to spring up in the media, my interest was piqued. Stories such as ‘Northern Europe’s farmers fear drought as bad as 1976’, ‘Drought takes toll on barley crop’ and ‘Cuba battles against worsening drought’ appear in all media outlets. Stories from North America have also covered issues relating to drought such as this headline ‘Severe drought in Texas worst in map’s history’.
One of the major effects of drought is of course the lack of production of food as crops refuse to grow and the use of irrigation has to be considered, if not already done so. Conway (2008, p272) discusses drought as well as the price of food rising in his ‘Food crisis’ presidential address, ‘although climate change is a response to global warming, most of the serious consequences involve the availability of water: in some regions greater and more intense rainfall, in others increasing droughts’.
There is no doubt that the issue of water globally will become more and more mediated as a lack of rain effects places from Norfolk to Texas, Northern Europe to Cuba.
Conway, G (2008) ‘Presidential Address, The Food Crisis‘, The Geographical Journal, Volume 174, Issue 3, p269-273.
Peter Jackson, BBC, 11th May 2011, ‘Northern Europe’s farmers fear drought as bad as 1976‘
Betsey Blaney, Bloomsberg Businessweek, 5th May 2011, ‘Severe drought in Texas worst in map’s history‘.
BBC, 1st June 2011, ‘Drought takes toll on barley crop‘.
BBC, 31st May 2011 ‘Cuba battles against worsening draught‘.