Drought

An Interdisciplinary Perspective

Benjamin I. Cook

Columbia University Press

Drought

Pub Date: April 2019

ISBN: 9780231176897

232 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $40.00£34.00

Pub Date: April 2019

ISBN: 9780231176880

232 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $120.00£100.00

Pub Date: April 2019

ISBN: 9780231548908

232 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $39.99£34.00

Drought

An Interdisciplinary Perspective

Benjamin I. Cook

Columbia University Press

Water is fundamental to all life. From the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, to the extreme water shortages that have struck California in recent years, modern societies often take its abundance for granted until it unexpectedly becomes scarce. Drought is one of the many problems anthropogenic climate change may exacerbate, but it is also a complex phenomenon at the intersection of a range of scientific disciplines and public policy issues. In this innovative book, Benjamin I. Cook brings together climate science, hydrology, and ecology to provide a synthetic overview of drought and its environmental and social consequences.

Cook introduces readers to the hydroclimate and its components, explaining the global water cycle, the earth’s climate system, and the distribution of water resources. He discusses drought dynamics and variability over time, the climatological context and ecological effects, and environmental issues such as desertification, land degradation, and groundwater depletion. He also considers the socioeconomic impacts of drought and the role of drought risk management policy, especially in light of how climate change is expected to affect drought risk and severity. Cook gives special attention to paleoclimate and the role of drought in the crises of ancient civilizations. A scientifically comprehensive and approachable overview of water issues throughout the world, Drought is a critical interdisciplinary text that will be essential reading for a broad range of students in earth science and environmental and sustainability studies.
This book presents an interesting, multidisciplinary perspective on the various dimensions of drought, which is a complex natural hazard of global importance. Brian Wardlow, director and professor, Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies and the School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Drought, aridity, and hydroclimatic stress are major concerns worldwide, and climate change is already making the situation worse. This book provides a foundation that many—whether interested in the basic science, the human impacts, or the impacts on natural systems—will find useful. Rarely are relevant insights from the recent geologic past woven together so well with knowledge gained from the instrumental and satellite era to illuminate the challenges that lie ahead. The evidence provided in this book highlights how serious the threat to both humans and nature will be. A must-read. Jonathan T. Overpeck, William B. Stapp Collegiate Professor and Samuel A. Graham Dean of the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability
Cook’s tome is a first-principles, comprehensive, and up-to-date exposition of drought, including its drivers and consequences, by a major player working at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary science. The book is perfectly organized, written, and illustrated, with the early chapters on hydrology and climate laying the needed groundwork for the reader to truly appreciate the later chapters on the history and future of drought and its impacts. In my estimation, this is easily the most important and useful book ever published on the phenomenon of drought. Julio L. Betancourt, visiting scientist, Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center
Preface
1. Introduction to the Hydrologic Cycle and Drought
2. Global Hydroclimatology
3. Drought in the Climate System
4. Drought and Hydroclimate in the Holocene
5. Climate Change and Drought
6. Case Studies: The Dust Bowl and Sahel Droughts
7. Land Degradation and Desertification
8. Groundwater and Irrigation
Glossary
References
Index

About the Author

Benjamin I. Cook is a research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. He also teaches on drought and climate science in Columbia’s School of Professional Studies.