Every five or so years, it rips me apart to watch the same tragedy: a La Niña weather cycle brings devastating drought and hunger to East Africa, threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya.
Using climate models and Earth observations, we can now predict these droughts. And once again, dry conditions are predicted from this month until December, with a very good chance of another poor rainy season in March to May 2021.
Advances in predictive science allow us to anticipate these potential crises. Scientists issued alerts in August. East African climate experts used a new modelling system for their pessimistic forecast.
In the United States, I was part of a group of climate scientists and humanitarian agencies that raised the alarm, through the Famine Early Warning Systems Network. Read more.