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Title: Simulated differences in 21st century aridity due to different scenarios of greenhouse gases and aerosols

Abstract

Aridity, defined as the ratio of precipitation (P) to potential evapotranspiration (PET) over land, is critical to natural ecosystems and agricultural production. Global climate models project global decreases of P/PET (drying) in the 21st century. We examine the uncertainty of aridity projections due to scenarios of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and aerosols with three sets of ensemble simulations from a single climate model, the Community Earth System Model (CESM1). Ensembles consist of two Radiative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and a scenario with RCP-like GHGs but with aerosol precursor emissions and atmospheric oxidants fixed at the year 2005 level. Under a high GHGs emission scenario (RCP8.5), global land P/PET decreases (drying) by 6.4 ± 0.8 % in 2060–2080 relative to 1985–2005. A GHG mitigation scenario (RCP4.5) would reduce the drying (P/PET decrease) to 3.7 ± 0.6 %. Although future aerosol emissions reduction would increase P, we find that it has little impact on global aridity due to offsetting effects on PET. Regionally, deceasing aerosols can have significant effects and aerosol-induced P/PET changes are due to different factors across different regions. When normalized by global mean temperature response, GHGs decrease global land P/PET by 2.7 ± 0.6 %/°C and surface temperature changes dominate GHG-inducedmore » P/PET change.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [2]
  1. Lanzhou Univ., Lanzhou (China); National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
  2. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
  3. Lanzhou Univ., Lanzhou (China); Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. Corp. for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1507093
Grant/Contract Number:  
FC02-97ER62402
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Climatic Change
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 146; Journal Issue: 3-4; Journal ID: ISSN 0165-0009
Publisher:
Springer
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Lin, L., Gettelman, A., Fu, Q., and Xu, Y. Simulated differences in 21st century aridity due to different scenarios of greenhouse gases and aerosols. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1007/s10584-016-1615-3.
Lin, L., Gettelman, A., Fu, Q., & Xu, Y. Simulated differences in 21st century aridity due to different scenarios of greenhouse gases and aerosols. United States. doi:10.1007/s10584-016-1615-3.
Lin, L., Gettelman, A., Fu, Q., and Xu, Y. Wed . "Simulated differences in 21st century aridity due to different scenarios of greenhouse gases and aerosols". United States. doi:10.1007/s10584-016-1615-3. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1507093.
@article{osti_1507093,
title = {Simulated differences in 21st century aridity due to different scenarios of greenhouse gases and aerosols},
author = {Lin, L. and Gettelman, A. and Fu, Q. and Xu, Y.},
abstractNote = {Aridity, defined as the ratio of precipitation (P) to potential evapotranspiration (PET) over land, is critical to natural ecosystems and agricultural production. Global climate models project global decreases of P/PET (drying) in the 21st century. We examine the uncertainty of aridity projections due to scenarios of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and aerosols with three sets of ensemble simulations from a single climate model, the Community Earth System Model (CESM1). Ensembles consist of two Radiative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and a scenario with RCP-like GHGs but with aerosol precursor emissions and atmospheric oxidants fixed at the year 2005 level. Under a high GHGs emission scenario (RCP8.5), global land P/PET decreases (drying) by 6.4 ± 0.8 % in 2060–2080 relative to 1985–2005. A GHG mitigation scenario (RCP4.5) would reduce the drying (P/PET decrease) to 3.7 ± 0.6 %. Although future aerosol emissions reduction would increase P, we find that it has little impact on global aridity due to offsetting effects on PET. Regionally, deceasing aerosols can have significant effects and aerosol-induced P/PET changes are due to different factors across different regions. When normalized by global mean temperature response, GHGs decrease global land P/PET by 2.7 ± 0.6 %/°C and surface temperature changes dominate GHG-induced P/PET change.},
doi = {10.1007/s10584-016-1615-3},
journal = {Climatic Change},
number = 3-4,
volume = 146,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {2}
}

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