Drought in Northern China II

Various stories on the wire today discuss the Chinese government’s attempts to control expanding deserts. What I found interesting was this bit from the Indepedent:

A persistent drought in northern parts of China has only added to the problem, sucking moisture from the soil and making it more easily picked up by the wind, officials have said.

This plays into one of the fallacies of drought – that it is an aberration, something outside of normal. In fact, what’s being called “drought” here is merely the dry end of the normal range of variability in northern China.