"The severe drought and searing heat will oppress wide swathes of the earth with increasing frequency this century, according to a forecast by scientists who met this week in Beijing, the UN weather agency said today. "The combination of record heat and widespread drought during the past five to ten years over large parts of southern and eastern Australia is without historical precedent and is, at least partly, a result of climate change,' according to a statement endorsed by the scientists at the meeting co-sponsored by the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
The statement was also released at UN Headquarters in New York.
The continental United States and Mexico, the Mediterranean basin, parts of northern China, southern Africa and Australia and parts of South America were cited as particularly prone to harsh drought, WMO said in a press release relaying the results of the International Workshop on Drought and Extreme Temperatures.
In addition, severe heat waves are expected to increase everywhere, especially in the continental western US, northern Africa, the Middle East, central Asia, southern Africa and Australia, the agency added."