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Title: The asymmetric impact of global warming on US drought types and distributions in a large ensemble of 97 hydro-climatic simulations

Abstract

Projection of future drought is often involved large uncertainties from climate models, emission scenarios as well as drought definitions. In this study, we investigate changes in future droughts in the conterminous United States based on 97 1/8 degree hydro-climate model projections. Instead of focusing on a specific drought type, we investigate changes in meteorological, agricultural, and hydrological drought as well as the concurrences. Agricultural and hydrological droughts are projected to become more frequent with increase in global mean temperature, while less meteorological drought is expected. Changes in drought intensity scale linearly with global temperature rises under RCP8.5 scenario, indicating the potential feasibility to derive future drought severity given certain global warming amount under this scenario. Changing pattern of concurrent droughts generally follows that of agricultural and hydrological droughts. Under the 1.5 °C warming target as advocated in recent Paris agreement, several hot spot regions experiencing highest droughts are identified. Extreme droughts show similar patterns but with much larger magnitude than the climatology. In conclusion, this study highlights the distinct response of droughts of various types to global warming and the asymmetric impact of global warming on drought distribution resulting in a much stronger influence on extreme drought than on meanmore » drought.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Xi'an Univ. of Technology, Xi'an (China). State Key Lab. Base of Eco-Hydraulic Engineering in Arid Area
  2. Pacific Northwest National Lab., College Park, MD (United States). Joint Global Research Institute
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, College Park, MD (United States). Joint Global Change Research Institute
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1393256
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Huang, Shengzhi, Leng, Guoyong, Huang, Qiang, Xie, Yangyang, Liu, Saiyan, Meng, Erhao, and Li, Pei. The asymmetric impact of global warming on US drought types and distributions in a large ensemble of 97 hydro-climatic simulations. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-06302-z.
Huang, Shengzhi, Leng, Guoyong, Huang, Qiang, Xie, Yangyang, Liu, Saiyan, Meng, Erhao, & Li, Pei. The asymmetric impact of global warming on US drought types and distributions in a large ensemble of 97 hydro-climatic simulations. United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-06302-z.
Huang, Shengzhi, Leng, Guoyong, Huang, Qiang, Xie, Yangyang, Liu, Saiyan, Meng, Erhao, and Li, Pei. 2017. "The asymmetric impact of global warming on US drought types and distributions in a large ensemble of 97 hydro-climatic simulations". United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-06302-z. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1393256.
@article{osti_1393256,
title = {The asymmetric impact of global warming on US drought types and distributions in a large ensemble of 97 hydro-climatic simulations},
author = {Huang, Shengzhi and Leng, Guoyong and Huang, Qiang and Xie, Yangyang and Liu, Saiyan and Meng, Erhao and Li, Pei},
abstractNote = {Projection of future drought is often involved large uncertainties from climate models, emission scenarios as well as drought definitions. In this study, we investigate changes in future droughts in the conterminous United States based on 97 1/8 degree hydro-climate model projections. Instead of focusing on a specific drought type, we investigate changes in meteorological, agricultural, and hydrological drought as well as the concurrences. Agricultural and hydrological droughts are projected to become more frequent with increase in global mean temperature, while less meteorological drought is expected. Changes in drought intensity scale linearly with global temperature rises under RCP8.5 scenario, indicating the potential feasibility to derive future drought severity given certain global warming amount under this scenario. Changing pattern of concurrent droughts generally follows that of agricultural and hydrological droughts. Under the 1.5 °C warming target as advocated in recent Paris agreement, several hot spot regions experiencing highest droughts are identified. Extreme droughts show similar patterns but with much larger magnitude than the climatology. In conclusion, this study highlights the distinct response of droughts of various types to global warming and the asymmetric impact of global warming on drought distribution resulting in a much stronger influence on extreme drought than on mean drought.},
doi = {10.1038/s41598-017-06302-z},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
number = 1,
volume = 7,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 7
}

Journal Article:
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  • Drought tolerance was compared for leaves of Artemisia tridentata, Festuca thurberi and Potentilla gracilis exposed to a global warming manipulation at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, near Crested Butte, CO. Leaves of the three species were collected from plants growing in situ in heated and control plots then dried for various periods of time up to 24 h. Tolerance was compared in terms of reduction of relative water content, change in water potential, and changes in chlorophyll a fluorescence quenching kinetics. Relative water content decreased by about 80% for F. thurberi and P. gracilis, but by less than 50% formore » A. tridentata. Also, plants from heated plots lost water faster than controls for F. thurberi and P. gracilis; for A. tridentata the opposite was true. Water potential for both control and heated-plot leaves decreased below -10 MPa after 24 h drying for F. thurberi and P. gracilis; water potential for A. tridentata decreased little and averaged -2.0 MPa. Quenching of chlorophyll a fluorescence was abolished for F. thurberi and P. gracilis leaves after 8 h drying, and there was little difference between heated and control leaves. Quenching decreased for A. tridentata, but was slower for leaves from heated plots. Leaves from A. tridentata may be better adapted than F. thurberi and P. gracilis to a drier climate in the Rocky Mountains under global warming.« less
  • The increasing concern about anthropogenic impacts on climate are discussed. This influence concerns a change in climatological patterns, with average values of global climate changing very little. Changes that have occurred in the climate patterns of the past, from 200,000 years ago to the present, are analyzed and applied to predictions of future changes. Recent temperature fluctuations and present rates of carbon dioxide contributions indicate that a global atmospheric increase of 0.4-0.5chemically bondC is likely to occur during 1990-2000.
  • Fossil-fuel burning and some land uses have led to, and are likely to continue to lead to, increases in the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO/sub 2/) in the atmosphere. The increases are projected by state-of-the-art equilibrium climatic models to lead to a global warming of a degree or so Celsius around 2000 AD, with this warming amplified several times near the poles. The authors review briefly the issues of the likelihood and timing of resulting coastal flooding, and also emphasize some demographic, economic, social, and geopolitical consequences of an assumed CO/sub 2/-induced rise in sea level of 15 to 25more » ft (4.6 to 7.6 m). Their analyses are restricted to the continental US but conclude, nonetheless, that only in this one country on the order of $2 x 10/sup 11/ (in 1971 US dollars) in private and public land and structures would be inundated by the 7.6 m local rise. (In 1980 dollars these estimates are low by several fold). Other economic, social, and political repercussions are also likely. A final consideration of the CO/sub 2/ problem is ethics: i.e., is it ethical for this generation to allow a long-term buildup of CO/sub 2/ with potentially large consequences for posterity, even though the extent of the threat is presently uncertain. Although the authors suspect that assessments of the potential effects of regional climatic variations (CO/sub 2/-induced or otherwise) on regional food and water supplies will prove of greater importance to society (at least in the next few decades) than an assessment of a possible sea level rise, the latter is easier to perform quantitatively than the former. 131 references, 2 figures, 1 table.« less
  • Climatic warming is shown to be capable of inducing shear heating instability and basal melting in a model ice sheet that is creeping slowly downslope. Growth times of the instability are calculated from a nonlinear analysis of temperature and flow in the model ice sheet whose surface undergoes a prescribed increase of temperature. The source of instability lies in the decrease of maximum ice thickness for steady downslope creep with increasing surface temperature. A surface temperature increase of 5 to 10 k can cause instability on a 10/sup 4/ year time scale for realistic ice rheology. The instability occurs suddenlymore » after a prolonged period of dormancy. The instability might be relevant to the East Antarctic ice sheet. Warming associated with the Holocene interglacial epoch that heralded the end of the last ice age may have set the East Antarctic ice sheet on a course toward wide-spread instability some 10/sup 4/ years later. The present CO/sub 2/-induced climate warming is also a potential trigger for instability and basal melting of the East Antarctic ice sheet.« less