What are four types of droughts, and what are the effects each type has?

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Four types of drought include meteorological drought, hydrological drought, agricultural drought, and socioeconomic drought.

Meteorological drought is determined by comparing precipitation to the average amount of precipitation for a specified region. Some regions are naturally drier than others, so the onset of a drought varies from region to region. Seattle, for example, receives much more annual rainfall than Las Vegas, so the determination of drought conditions will be different between those two cities.

Agricultural drought qualifies the effects of a meteorological drought on various aspects of agriculture, such as ground water and soil moisture deficits.

Hydrological drought results from cumulative deficits of precipitation specifically on water supplies. Hydrological drought affects lake levels, the rate of stream flow, and the amount of underground water which is available.

When a drought exists, crops and livestock quantities are affected by those deficits. Without enough water, crops and animals will die and the supply of those economic resources will decrease. This is a socioeconomic drought. Often this will mean that the demand for goods such as meats and fruits will exceed the supply which is available during drought conditions. As a result, the prices for those goods will increase, and some people will be unable to obtain those natural resources.

Many of the effects of droughts are the same; in each type of drought, the natural resources are under great stress because of a decrease in precipitation. Because food sources and humans require water to grow and thrive, this creates greater competition among living things. A sustained drought can create environments which are inhospitable for life, and without intervention, plants and animals may face death. I am linking several resources for you to consider as you differentiate the effects of each type of drought.

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