Lyon quoted in Climate Progress article on El Nino effects in Africa
Bradfield Lyon, a climate analyst and associate research professor at the University of Maine, spoke with Climate Progress for the article, “Africa is going through a serious drought and El Nino is making it worse.” According to the article, El Nino has exacerbated a crippling drought interrupting the rainy season used for planting much needed crops in Africa. The drought is unlikely to improve any time soon, experts said, because in southern Africa El Nino events are associated with dry weather. “And this year’s El Nino is among the three strongest events in the past 100 years,” Lyon said. He explained that when rainfall is lacking, soils dry out, which increases the chances of heat waves developing, further exacerbating the drought conditions already in place, which is likely happening this year. Even without El Nino, Lyon and other researchers say climate change caused by increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will raise temperatures, which will further increase the severity of droughts, the article states. “Upward temperature trends over the past several decades have already been observed across many southern Africa locations, and these are expected to continue,” Lyon said.