|Author||Shah, Reepal D. ♦ Tiwari, Amar Deep ♦ Xiao, Mu ♦ Aadhar, Saran ♦ Pai, D. S. ♦ Lettenmaier, Dennis ♦ Mishra, Vimal|
|Subject Keyword||VIC ♦ Soil Moisture ♦ Food Security|
|Abstract||Millions of people died due to famines in India in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; however, the relationship of historical famines with drought is complicated and not well understood. Using station‐based observations and simulations, we reconstruct soil moisture (agricultural) drought in India for the period 1870–2016. We show that over this century and a half period, India experienced seven major drought periods (1876–1882, 1895–1900, 1908–1924, 1937–1945, 1982–1990, 1997–2004, and 2011–2015) based on severity‐area‐duration analysis of reconstructed soil moisture. Out of six major famines (1873–74, 1876, 1877, 1896–97, 1899, and 1943) that occurred during 1870–2016, five are linked to soil moisture drought, and one (1943) was not. The three most deadly droughts (1877, 1896, and 1899) were linked with the positive phase of El Niño–Southern Oscillation. Five major droughts were not linked with famine, and three of those five nonfamine droughts occurred after Indian independence in 1947.|
|Learning Resource Type||Article|
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