More drought, no doubt


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Ah, the UK Conservative Party Conference. Fading English seaside towns, ladies with blue rinsed hair, debates on immigration, taxation, crime and punishment and hang on....the Palmer Drought Severity Index?

Well, this blog has provided numerous examples of how global development and climate change issues are moving in on the mainstream political agenda, so it should really be no surprise that the Tory party is in on the act. Scientists from the UK Met(eorological) Office presented some of their recent findings to conference delegates last week. The headline grabbing statistics predict dramatic increases in drought incidence - with "extreme drought" conditions projected to increase tenfold by 2100. Full details of the study are to be published shortly in The Journal of Hydrometeorology.

Given that the moderate drought index is already at 25% globally, these projections are appropriately scary for Friday the 13th. Attention turns first to food security and migration - but what about the economic implications for private sector development? How will water-dependent industries manage with escalating water prices? Perhaps it's time for the Palmer Drought Severity Index - together with carbon intensity and other natural capital indicators - to join standard metrics on business competitiveness.

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