Global warming will intensify soil moisture droughts in Europe

International research team led by the scientists from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ in Leipzig (Germany), including a current postdoc at the Department of Water Resources and Environmental Modeling (Oldřich Rakovec), published a study in the journal of Nature Climate Change (DOI: 10.1038/s41558-018-0138-5, text zde).

This high-resolution modeling study based on four hydrologic/land-surface models quantifies the sensitivity of soil moisture drought to different levels of global warming across Europe until the end of 21st century. Compared to the 1.5-degree target declared by Paris Agreement (COP21), an increase of 3 degrees (the “business-as-usual” scenario representing the current projected temperature trend) is found to increase drought area on average by 40% and affect up to 42% more of the population. Moreover, the devastating 2003 European drought is expected to become twice as frequent. The largest increases in the drought area and duration are projected to occur in the Mediterranean region.

Samaniego, L., Thober, S., Kumar, R., Wanders, N., Rakovec, O., Pan, M., ... & Marx, A. (2018). Anthropogenic warming exacerbates European soil moisture droughts. Nature Climate Change, 1.

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