It was a catastrophic era for a country with a tradition of nomadic pastoralism dating back thousands of years. Herders make a living by selling animal products — including meat, wool and cashmere. Without their animals, they become cash strapped and cannot pay for basic needs.
Dzuds, unique to Mongolia, are homegrown natural disasters born out of the country’s unusual environment: landlocked, semiarid and prone to swings in temperature and precipitation.
Bodies of water from his childhood, like the river where he used to swim, have dried up. “In old times, it was not like that,” he says. “Everything was very balanced. We had good rivers and creeks. Now, herders have to rely on water wells. People say it’s because of global warming.”
“Climate change is very complicated”
This touching and heart wrenching story continues at https://www.npr.org/2019/07/29/737990796/the-deadly-winters-that-have-transformed-life-for-herders-in-mongolia