Suffering from corruption, poor sanitation, malnutrition, and enormous economic inequality, Ethiopia is a troubled nation to say the least. However, a new study reveals that it may be getting a welcome boost from a most unlikely source – climate change.
Writing in the journal Climatic Change, a team from Virginia Tech (VT) has concluded that the flow of water to the Ethiopian Blue Nile Basin (BNB) will likely increase as the world inexorably warms. This will allow crops to be grown throughout multiple seasons of the year, potentially rescuing its faltering agricultural sector.
“For all the catastrophic impacts of climate change, there are some silver linings,” coordinating researcher Zach Easton, an associate professor of biological systems engineering at VT, said in a statement.
The team’s cutting-edge hydrogeological models, based on calculations developed by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), assume that the world will continue to warm fairly rapidly. As noted by several other studies, the planet will almost certainly breach the Paris agreement’s 2°C (3.6°F) before 2100, perhaps as early as 2050.
Although this will scorch much of the planet, particularly the Arctic, the Middle East, and North Africa, there are some parts of the world that will marginally benefit. Parts of Canada and Northern Europe will show increased crop yields, for example. With regards to the BNB, localized changes in the weather will produce more rainfall, and the monsoon season will be extended by four to six weeks by the end of the century.