Record-Breaking Droughts, Heat Waves and Famines Hit Countries Worldwide

Headline Roundup June 9th, 2022

The U.S. and countries around the world are facing droughts and heat waves — threatening ecosystems, economies and even people’s lives.

On Thursday, several outlets reported a looming heat wave that would “bring triple-digit heat to 45 million Americans in the coming week.” Several lakes in the western U.S. — including Lake Mead, Lake Powell and the Great Salt Lake — fell to record lows in 2022. While drought was quelled in Idaho by recent rains, officials in Hawaii called on residents to conserve water. 

This phenomenon is not unique to the U.S.; wheat crops around the world are threatened by dry weather, driving up global food prices. Iraqi officials responded to water shortages by draining part of the Mosul Dam reservoir, uncovering ruins of a 3,400 year-old Mittani Empire city. Drought-spurred famine has killed hundreds of people, including children, in Ethiopia and other eastern African countries. Portugal experienced its hottest May in 92 years, leaving 97% of the country in “severe drought.”

Coverage was widespread across the spectrum, often focusing on California’s water restrictions. Compared to left-rated outlets, coverage from right-rated outlets was more likely to focus solely on U.S. drought conditions and less likely to list climate change as a contributing factor. 

From the Left
314

If the Great Salt Lake, which has already shrunk by two-thirds, continues to dry up, here’s what’s in store:

The lake’s flies and brine shrimp would die off — scientists warn it could start as soon as this summer — threatening the 10 million migratory birds that stop at the lake annually to feed on the tiny creatures. Ski conditions at the resorts above Salt Lake City, a vital source of revenue, would deteriorate. The lucrative extraction of magnesium and other minerals from the lake could stop.

Most alarming, the...

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From the Right
314

The combined threats of drought conditions, extreme heat, and wildfires led a group of scientists to slap a new label on this summer: "danger season."

The name was coined by the Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental research and advocacy group, in a blog post published earlier this week.

The group noted that summer is the season when the U.S. experiences most of its extreme weather, including heat waves, wildfires, hurricanes, and tropical storms. Existing droughts are exacerbated by hot conditions. And, as the group noted, these threats also “compound one another and cause cascading chains of hazards,”...

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From the Left
314

No mother should have to lose her child. Owliyo Hassan Salaad has watched four die this year. A drought in the Horn of Africa has taken them, one by one.

Now she cradles her frail and squalling 3-year-old, Ali Osman, whom she carried on a 90-kilometer (55-mile) walk from her village to Somalia’s capital, desperate not to lose him too. Sitting on the floor of a malnutrition treatment center filled with anxious mothers, she can barely speak about the small bodies buried back home in soil too dry for planting....

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