09 Aug '18, 7pm

A Mid-winter Drought in Australia

July 2018 was the driest July in Australia since 2002. The dry month exacerbated an ongoing drought that had already ruined large swaths of grazing land and cropland. New South Wales has been hit the hardest, according to a news reports . About 99 percent of the state was in drought heading into August. Drought becomes relevant to farmers and ranchers when there are deficits in the amount of water available to plants in the “root-zone,” which generally includes the top 200 centimeters (80 inches) of soil. The map above shows root-zone soil moisture anomalies—how much the moisture content was above (green) or below (brown) the norm—on July 28, 2018. Soils were extremely dry in eastern Australia, which is a major agricultural area. “Agricultural drought can irreversibly damage crops and hamper yield formation, leading to economic losses and food insecurity,” said Iliana Mlad...

Full article: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/92583/a-mid-wint...

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