Nearly a decade of heat waves and massive dust storms across the Great Plains of the United States in the 1930s destroyed farmland and led tens of thousands of farmer families looking for new jobs. “The waves of the 1930s were extremely rare events we could expect to see once every hundred years“says Tim Cowan, a researcher at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia, and lead author of a study on Nature Climate Change.
Such events “below today’s greenhouse gas levels, they are more than twice as likely to occur” once every 40 years. “If extreme heat waves and droughts reduce vegetation as in the 1930s, the waves could become even stronger, threatening global food supplies“says Friederike Otto, senior author of the study and director of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford.
This human warning is supported by research published in March, which shows that a multi-year drought, such as that which occurred in the 1930s, in the United States could run out of U.S. grain stores and have a cascading effect across the world food system. Within the fourth year of such an event, U.S. grain exports would drop by half and the country would deplete 94% of its reserves, experts calculate.
That’s not all: according to another research, a mega tsunami could occur in Alaska at any time.