State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

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East Africa Drought Is “Exceptional”

In this video interview, IRI’s chief climate scientist, Simon Mason, explains how truly intense the drought in East Africa has been compared to other droughts.

“In many parts of Kenya…the amount of rain that has been received is less 25% of normal, in some areas it’s less than 5%. To put those figures in context…much of Texas is experiencing some of its worst drought on record, and for a lot of state, the amount of rainfall received is about one third of what it would normally get. So this is an exceptionally intense drought compared to conditions we are used to here in the United States.”

Mason goes on to discuss the ways in which forecasts and other climate information are helping humanitarian organizations prepare and respond to droughts and other climate-related events.

The entire interview is below.

Simon Mason, Climate Info and Humanitarian community from IRI on Vimeo.

Check our video page regularly, or follow developments on Twitter: @climatesociety

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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