According to a recent study, human-caused climate change prevented a devastating drought in the Horn of Africa that has now lasted through five consecutive failed rainy seasons.

Why it’s important A recent scientific study found that the suffering of tens of millions of people as well as the region’s arid conditions are being exacerbated by climate change brought on by human emissions.

One of the worst humanitarian crises ever has been brought on by the drought. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that at least 36.4 million people in the Horn of Africa will require emergency aid this year in order to survive.

Zoom in: The report was released Thursday by the World Weather Attribution group, an international team of scientists specializing in teasing out climate change’s influence on high-impact extreme weather and climate events.

The study’s conclusions are among the strongest this group has made when dissecting extreme events worldwide.

The 19 researchers from Africa, Europe and the U.S. looked at rainfall trends over a 24-month period, from January 2021 to December 2022.

They also examined the rainfall received during the “short rains” season, from October through December, as well as the “long rains” from March through May, beginning in 2021.

They found that below average rainfall during the short rains was most likely tied to the presence of a La Niña event in the tropical Pacific, rather than climate change.

The long rains, on the other hand, are becoming drier as the global climate warms, with below average rainfall now about twice as likely as before the preindustrial era.