Climate change to make droughts longer, more common, says UN

The frequency and duration of droughts will continue to increase due to human-caused climate change, with water scarcity already affecting billions of people across the world, the United Nations warned in a report Wednesday.

The U.N. desertification agency, which is currently hosting a conference of parties in Abidjan in Ivory Coast, estimates that roughly one third of the world's population - 2.3 billion people - is already facing water scarcity, with that number expected to double by 2050.

Although no region is spared from drought, the report noted that Africa is the hardest hit continent, with the Americas, India and Australia also highlighted as areas of particular current and future concern.

The ongoing debilitating drought in the east and Horn of Africa was highlighted as one of the "dramatic consequences" of climate change by the U.N.