In this set of activities, students learn about impacts of drought through news videos of communities facing serious water shortages, analyze drought data and models, and research and evaluate potential solutions. This lesson works well as a component within a larger unit on climate change, its impacts, and ways to address the resulting issues.

This video from ClimateCentral looks at the way climate conditions can affect vegetation in the West, and what influence this has on wildfires. Drought and rainfall can have very different wildfire outcomes, depending on vegetation type, extent, and location.

This interactive visualization provides a clear, well-documented snapshot of current and projected values of several climate variables for local areas in California. The climate variables include observed and projected temperatures, projected snowpack, areas vulnerable to flooding due to sea level rise, and projected increase in wildfires. The projected values come from expert sources and well-established climate models.

This is a extensive collection of maps, data, and tools that students can use to research drought and its impacts on agriculture, wildfires, water supply, vegetation, soil moisture, temperature and precipitation.

In this video, NOAA's Deke Arndt, Chief of the Climate Monitoring Branch at the National Climatic Data Center, recaps the temperature and precipitation data for the continental US in summer 2012. It describes how these conditions have led to drought and reduced crop yields.

This is a real-time map of current drought conditions in the US, which can be zoomed to the state level, with access to many more resources at that level. Some of these include the National Drought Regional Summaries and animations of historical data.

This easy-to-understand video animation describes drought and explains the different categories of drought used by the drought monitor. It discusses the effects of and contributions to drought, what the implications of the different drought levels are, and puts the drought maps into context to understand how the impacts vary geographically (e.g. drought in Nevada vs Kansas - one could affect tourism, the other agriculture). It also touches on how the development of maps/drought severity is determined and how it might vary geographically. The animation provides a basic overview of statistics and percentiles and the concept of '100 year events.'

Using US Drought Monitor data and its classification system, this interactive tool tracks drought in the continental US by county, from 2000 to the present.

This video discusses impacts that the Midwestern US is experiencing due to climate change. It describes how climate change is affecting agriculture, tourism, drought and flood, water cycles and freshwater availability, the spread of invasive species and disease, as well as other topics.

This short video illustrates how warming ocean temperature is a major factor in climate change, particularly the increase in severity of extreme weather (notably storms and drought).

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