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Projected drought risk in 1.5°C and 2°C warmer climates

Flavio Lehner; Sloan John Coats; Thomas F. Stocker; Angeline G. Pendergrass; Benjamin M. Sanderson; Christoph C. Raible; Jason E. Smerdon

Title:
Projected drought risk in 1.5°C and 2°C warmer climates
Author(s):
Lehner, Flavio
Coats, Sloan John
Stocker, Thomas F.
Pendergrass, Angeline G.
Sanderson, Benjamin M.
Raible, Christoph C.
Smerdon, Jason E.
Date:
Type:
Articles
Department(s):
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Volume:
44
Persistent URL:
Book/Journal Title:
Geophysical Research Letters
Abstract:
The large socioeconomic costs of droughts make them a crucial target for impact assessments of climate change scenarios. Using multiple drought metrics and a set of simulations with the Community Earth System Model targeting 1.5°C and 2°C above preindustrial global mean temperatures, we investigate changes in aridity and the risk of consecutive drought years. If warming is limited to 2°C, these simulations suggest little change in drought risk for the U.S. Southwest and Central Plains compared to present day. In the Mediterranean and central Europe, however, drought risk increases significantly for both 1.5°C and 2°C warming targets, and the additional 0.5°C of the 2°C climate leads to significantly higher drought risk. Our study suggests that limiting anthropogenic warming to 1.5°C rather than 2°C, as aspired to by the Paris Climate Agreement, may have benefits for future drought risk but that such benefits may be regional and in some cases highly uncertain.
Subject(s):
Climatology
Droughts
Drought forecasting
Drought forecasting--Mathematical models
Publisher DOI:
https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL074117
Item views
27
Metadata:
text | xml
Suggested Citation:
Flavio Lehner, Sloan John Coats, Thomas F. Stocker, Angeline G. Pendergrass, Benjamin M. Sanderson, Christoph C. Raible, Jason E. Smerdon, , Projected drought risk in 1.5°C and 2°C warmer climates, Columbia University Academic Commons, .

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