INTERVIEW – Deputy scientific director of climatology at Météo France, Jean-Michel Soubeyroux supervised the ClimSec project which, between 2008 and 2011, focused on the impact of climate change on droughts. It explains how the current situation foreshadows what awaits us in the future.
LE FIGARO. – Can the current drought be attributed to climate change?
Jean-Michel SOUBEYROUX. – It is impossible to say for this particular case, but we generally know that drought episodes will be more and more frequent in the future. The latest models show that the number of “dry ground” days will increase steadily over the course of the century, more strongly in the south of France than in the north. This development cannot be expected tomorrow: the changes have already begun to be felt, and they will increase more or less depending on the level of global warming. The worst is of course expected at the end of the century in a scenario of high greenhouse gas emissions, namely an average annual level of soil humidity corresponding to the extremely dry level of the reference period (1960-1990).
How does climate change affect drought?
In several ways. From a meteorological point of view, the models predict…