Global Changes in Drought Conditions under Different Levels of Warming. Naumann, G., Alfieri, L., Wyser, K., Mentaschi, L., Betts, R. A., Carrao, H., Spinoni, J., Vogt, J., & Feyen, L. 45(7):3285–3296.
Global Changes in Drought Conditions under Different Levels of Warming [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
[Abstract] Higher evaporative demands and more frequent and persistent dry spells associated with rising temperatures suggest that drought conditions could worsen in many regions of the world. In this study, we assess how drought conditions may develop across the globe for 1.5, 2, and 3°C warming compared to preindustrial temperatures. Results show that two thirds of global population will experience a progressive increase in drought conditions with warming. For drying areas, drought durations are projected to rise at rapidly increasing rates with warming, averaged globally from 2.0 month/°C below 1.5°C to 4.2 month/°C when approaching 3°C. Drought magnitudes could double for 30% of global landmass under stringent mitigation. If contemporary warming rates continue, water supply-demand deficits could become fivefold in size for most of Africa, Australia, southern Europe, southern and central states of the United States, Central America, the Caribbean, north-west China, and parts of Southern America. In approximately 20% of the global land surface, drought magnitude will halve with warming of 1.5°C and higher levels, mainly most land areas north of latitude 55°N, but also parts of South America and Eastern and South-eastern Asia. A progressive and significant increase in frequency of droughts is projected with warming in the Mediterranean basin, most of Africa, West and Southern Asia, Central America, and Oceania, where droughts are projected to happen 5 to 10 times more frequent even under ambitious mitigation targets and current 100-year events could occur every two to five years under 3°C of warming. [Plain Language Summary] This research investigates the climatology of global drought conditions under different global warming levels. We consider warming levels of 1.5 and 2°C set out as mitigation targets in the Paris Agreement, as well as 3°C that is closer to what is expected by the end of the 21st century if current emission trends are retained. We found that the magnitude of droughts is likely to double in 30% of the global landmass under stringent mitigation policies. If global warming continues at the present rate, water supply‐demand deficits would increase fivefold while current 1‐in‐100‐year droughts would occur every two to five years for most of Africa, Australia, southern Europe, southern and central United States, Central America, the Caribbean, north‐west China, and parts of Southern America. Approximately two thirds of the global population will experience a progressive increase in drought hazard with warming. In drying areas, drought durations are projected to rise rapidly with warming. The main impacts of long‐lasting droughts are linked to the lowering of the groundwater and of the water levels in reservoirs. This will impede replenishment of water supplies and may result in a difficult recovery and prolonged socio‐economic impacts after severe droughts.
@article{naumannGlobalChangesDrought2018,
  title = {Global Changes in Drought Conditions under Different Levels of Warming},
  author = {Naumann, G. and Alfieri, L. and Wyser, K. and Mentaschi, L. and Betts, R. A. and Carrao, H. and Spinoni, J. and Vogt, J. and Feyen, L.},
  date = {2018},
  journaltitle = {Geophysical Research Letters},
  volume = {45},
  pages = {3285--3296},
  issn = {1944-8007},
  doi = {10.1002/2017GL076521},
  url = {https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL076521},
  urldate = {2019-05-16},
  abstract = {[Abstract]
Higher evaporative demands and more frequent and persistent dry spells associated with rising temperatures suggest that drought conditions could worsen in many regions of the world. In this study, we assess how drought conditions may develop across the globe for 1.5, 2, and 3°C warming compared to preindustrial temperatures. Results show that two thirds of global population will experience a progressive increase in drought conditions with warming. For drying areas, drought durations are projected to rise at rapidly increasing rates with warming, averaged globally from 2.0 month/°C below 1.5°C to 4.2 month/°C when approaching 3°C. Drought magnitudes could double for 30\% of global landmass under stringent mitigation. If contemporary warming rates continue, water supply-demand deficits could become fivefold in size for most of Africa, Australia, southern Europe, southern and central states of the United States, Central America, the Caribbean, north-west China, and parts of Southern America. In approximately 20\% of the global land surface, drought magnitude will halve with warming of 1.5°C and higher levels, mainly most land areas north of latitude 55°N, but also parts of South America and Eastern and South-eastern Asia. A progressive and significant increase in frequency of droughts is projected with warming in the Mediterranean basin, most of Africa, West and Southern Asia, Central America, and Oceania, where droughts are projected to happen 5 to 10 times more frequent even under ambitious mitigation targets and current 100-year events could occur every two to five years under 3°C of warming.

[Plain Language Summary]
This research investigates the climatology of global drought conditions under different global warming levels. We consider warming levels of 1.5 and 2°C set out as mitigation targets in the Paris Agreement, as well as 3°C that is closer to what is expected by the end of the 21st century if current emission trends are retained. We found that the magnitude of droughts is likely to double in 30\% of the global landmass under stringent mitigation policies. If global warming continues at the present rate, water supply‐demand deficits would increase fivefold while current 1‐in‐100‐year droughts would occur every two to five years for most of Africa, Australia, southern Europe, southern and central United States, Central America, the Caribbean, north‐west China, and parts of Southern America. Approximately two thirds of the global population will experience a progressive increase in drought hazard with warming. In drying areas, drought durations are projected to rise rapidly with warming. The main impacts of long‐lasting droughts are linked to the lowering of the groundwater and of the water levels in reservoirs. This will impede replenishment of water supplies and may result in a difficult recovery and prolonged socio‐economic impacts after severe droughts.},
  keywords = {~INRMM-MiD:z-XX7445H2,climate-change,droughts,global-scale,rcp85,standardized-precipitation-evapotranspiration-index,standardized-precipitation-index},
  langid = {english},
  number = {7}
}
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