Title: Climate Change Impacts on Droughts
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC104402
ISBN: 978-92-79-64585-3 (print)
978-92-79-64586-0 (pdf)
ISSN: 1018-5593 (print)
1831-9424 (online)
Other Identifiers: EUR 28332 EN
OP LB-NA-28332-EN-C (print)
OP LB-NA-28332-EN-N (online)
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC104402
DOI: 10.2788/38233
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: This study makes use of the most current General Circulation Models (GCMs) forced with CMIP5 climate projections to quantify the projected changes in intra-annual drought characteristics for South–Central America during the next century at a fine gridded scale. Since the analysis is based on GCMs and South–Central America region is part of the integrated framework that contributes to the global conditions used to stimulate the various climate projections, we decided also to conduct our analysis from a global to a continental perspective (in order to place South–Central America in the globe). Projections of drought hazard are quantified using the Weighted Anomaly of Standardized Precipitation (WASP) index, which normalizes accumulated precipitation for a specific location and time of year, and allows to discard large anomalies that result from small precipitation amounts occurring near the beginning or end of dry seasons. Climate pro jections are based on the output from ISI-MIP (the Inter-Sectoral Impact Models Intercomparison Project), which provides high resolution global downscaled climate scenarios that have been extensively tested for numerous regions around the globe, including South–Central America. WASP is calculated on a gridded scale with a horizontal resolution of 0.5o ( 50km at the equator) for three projected emission pathways (i.e. rcp2.6, rcp4.5, and rcp8.5). Models are used for comparing drought hazard (dH) during two future time periods (2021-2050, and 2071-2099) to the historical control period (1971-2000). Under contemporary climate, we have evaluated the ability of the WASP index to depict the major Amazonian droughts in the last decade. We have selected this region because the 2005 and 2010 Amazon droughts were both characterized as “100yr events”, and their socioeconomic impacts were well documented by numerous studies carried out to identify their origins and characterize their dynamics. Severity values show good agreement with the outcomes of drought indicators that relate to specific hydro-ecological impacts of absolute local precipitation deficits on Amazon rainforest for that period. For the future, and with a few exceptions, climate models show increasing drought hazard for South–Central America under all RCPs. It was found that projections of dH changes for most regions are neither robust nor significant in the near future, whereas significant increases for Mexico’s Pacific coast, the Central American Dry Corridor (CADC), the Amazon region and Central Chile emerge by the end of the century.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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