Quantification of meteorological drought risks between 1.5°C and 4°C of global warming in six countries

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Abstract

We quantify the projected impacts of alternative levels of global warming upon the probability and length of severe drought in six countries (China, Brazil, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana and India). This includes an examination of different land cover classes, and a calculation of the proportion of population in 2100 (SSP2) at exposed to severe drought lasting longer than one year. Current pledges for climate change mitigation, which are projected to still result in global warming levels of 3°C or more, would impact all of the countries in this study. For example, with 3°C warming, more than 50% of the agricultural area in each country is projected to be exposed to severe droughts of longer than one year in a 30-year period. Using standard population projections, it is estimated that 80%-100% of the population in Brazil, China, Egypt, Ethiopia and Ghana (and nearly 50% of the population of India) are projected to be exposed to a severe drought lasting one year or longer in a 30-year period. In contrast, we find that meeting the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement, that is limiting warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, is projected to greatly benefit all of the countries in this study, greatly reducing exposure to severe drought for large percentages of the population and in all major land cover classes, with Egypt potentially benefiting the most.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClimatic Change
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 22 Apr 2022

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