Document Detail


Little change in global drought over the past 60 years.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23151587     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Drought is expected to increase in frequency and severity in the future as a result of climate change, mainly as a consequence of decreases in regional precipitation but also because of increasing evaporation driven by global warming. Previous assessments of historic changes in drought over the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries indicate that this may already be happening globally. In particular, calculations of the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) show a decrease in moisture globally since the 1970s with a commensurate increase in the area in drought that is attributed, in part, to global warming. The simplicity of the PDSI, which is calculated from a simple water-balance model forced by monthly precipitation and temperature data, makes it an attractive tool in large-scale drought assessments, but may give biased results in the context of climate change. Here we show that the previously reported increase in global drought is overestimated because the PDSI uses a simplified model of potential evaporation that responds only to changes in temperature and thus responds incorrectly to global warming in recent decades. More realistic calculations, based on the underlying physical principles that take into account changes in available energy, humidity and wind speed, suggest that there has been little change in drought over the past 60 years. The results have implications for how we interpret the impact of global warming on the hydrological cycle and its extremes, and may help to explain why palaeoclimate drought reconstructions based on tree-ring data diverge from the PDSI-based drought record in recent years.
Authors:
Justin Sheffield; Eric F Wood; Michael L Roderick
Related Documents :
12399267 - Multicomponent methods: evaluation of new and traditional soft tissue mineral models by...
24246367 - A bayesian inverse solution using independent component analysis.
23214727 - Only through perturbation can relaxation times be estimated.
19324407 - Micro and macro rheology of planar tissues.
11888167 - Estimation of vaginal probiotic lactobacilli growth parameters with the application of ...
22608217 - Bayesian inference for quantifying listeria monocytogenes prevalence and concentration ...
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nature     Volume:  491     ISSN:  1476-4687     ISO Abbreviation:  Nature     Publication Date:  2012 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-11-15     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0410462     Medline TA:  Nature     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  435-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA. justin@princeton.edu
Export Citation:
APA/MLA Format     Download EndNote     Download BibTex
MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Comments/Corrections
Comment In:
Nature. 2012 Nov 15;491(7424):338-9   [PMID:  23151573 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


Previous Document:  Observation of entanglement between a quantum dot spin and a single photon.
Next Document:  Slowdown of the Walker circulation driven by tropical Indo-Pacific warming.