chapter  1
12 Pages

Drought in World History

The nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw the rapid expansion of European political and strategic control of an increasing proportion of the globe. In the 1990s, scientific and political opinions were appearing which pointed out the wealth of evidence of losses but also the wealth of experience of successful mitigation of drought impacts. Although there had been significant local droughts which had troubled the European settlers before the mid-nineteenth century, it was not until the advancing wave of farmers spread into the drier western half of the United States, specifically the Great Plains, that the impacts of drought became more noticeable. The pioneers may have believed the claims above, but they faced considerable problems. The technological strategists have not given up however. Plant and crop breeders still attempt to optimize their progeny; engineers continue to improve the efficiency of their water storages, recovery and conduit systems; while atmospheric scientists continue to sharpen their monitoring systems.