August 19, 2022

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Unprecedented droughts are expected in the near future

Unprecedented droughts are expected in the near future

Madrid June 28 (European Press) –

Global warming is expected to increase the intensity and frequency of droughts in different regions of the world in the near future, Depletion of water, agriculture and energy resources.

For a climate change strategy to succeed, it is essential to understand how the effects of global warming will evolve over time. A new study led by Japan’s National Institute of Environmental Studies (NIES) presents future periods when anomalous drought conditions will become more frequent, creating a new normal. Their findings were published in Nature Communications.

As current water management practices and existing infrastructures in these sectors are based on historical statistics or experiences, these practices and infrastructures may become inadequate in a changing climate. Therefore, it is critical to better understand when the extreme drought conditions expressed as “unprecedented” will prevail.

“In terms of precipitation and temperature, previous studies indicate the moment when the impact of climate change appears. However, no study has been able to estimate the moment when drought will occur by focusing on river drainage on the Tokuta Yokohata scale, co-author and principal investigator of Earth System Risk Analysis section of the NIES Earth System Section, showing the adoption of appropriate climate change strategies, Especially for climate adaptation, in the long run and over time.”

The work estimates the periods when drought conditions would go into an unprecedented state in a warmer world. The research group assessed changes in the frequency of dry days in 59 subcontinental regions of the world up to the end of the twenty-first century.

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They estimated the time to first appearance (TFE) of an unprecedented successive drought, the first beginning to exceed the maximum historical climate change during the reference period (1865-2005) occurring consecutively during a given period. The number of years . For example, TFE5 indicates that regional drought frequency It remains greater than the maximum value during the 141-year reference period of more than five years.

The scientists analyzed a river drainage simulation dataset, Derived from combinations of five global hydrological models and four climate model projections. The study looked at low and high concentrations of greenhouse gases scenarios to assess the consequences of societal decisions in the climate mitigation path.

“The projected effects of warming show large regional variations in their intensity and rate of growth over time,” says corresponding lead author Yosuke Satoh, associate professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. By mid-century, increases in drought frequency are statistically significant over 25% and 28% of the global land area under the low and high greenhouse gas concentration scenarios, respectively.

Some selected regions show significant increases by more than twice the current frequency. In both scenarios, the so-called hot spots of increased drought include the regions of the Mediterranean, southern and central South America, Australia, etc. “Some areas are showing steady increases in the frequency of drought,” he adds. It is very likely that the expected increases in the middle of this century compared to the historical period“.

This new study takes into account successive excesses of more than five years and detects TFE5 in 18 of 59 regions by the end of this century in a high greenhouse gas concentration scenario. Even under a low greenhouse gas concentration scenario that assumes stringent mitigation strategies, 11 regions are expected to reach GFR5 over the course of the century.

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“Under the high and low greenhouse gas concentration scenarios, respectively, seven and five TFE5 regions appear in about 30 years, which is before or around the expected climate stability in the case of the low climate change scenario. More importantly, the results imply unprecedented and unavoidable situations in these regions.‘,” says Hideo Shiogama, co-author and head of the Earth System Hazard Analysis Division at NIES.

In particular, the southwestern South American and Mediterranean regions consistently show early and strong EFR5 in both scenarios. On the other hand, the differences between the greenhouse gas concentration scenarios suggest that our choice of mitigation strategies makes a marked difference in the timing and strength of the projection.

“Adequate and feasible mitigation and adaptation plans to climate change are essential to overcome the expected very severe drought conditions. Particularly with regard to adaptation, It is critical to improve our preparedness on the given time horizon before the onset of unprecedented drought conditionsSatoh clears.