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A Climate Disaster in Mongolia

Photo Essay | 14 April 2016

Mongolia is being hit by a serious livelihood and food crisis arising from a slow-burning but deadly climate disaster unique to the country known as a "dzud." The dzud consists of a summer drought followed by a heavy winter snow and especially cold temperatures during winter and spring.

According to the National Emergency Management Authority, snow this winter covered 90% of the country, while temperatures plummeted to -50°C. This created devastating grazing conditions for herders and their livestock, already reeling from a summer drought in 2015 that resulted in a 40% reduction in wheat harvests and grazing pasture in some areas.

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