Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1038/s41612-024-00590-9
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Human-induced intensification of terrestrial water cycle in dry regions of the globe
Author Guan, Y.; Gu, X.; Slater, L.J.; Li, X.; Li, J.; Wang, L.; Tang, X.; Kong, D.; Zhang, X.
Source Titel npj Climate and Atmospheric Science
Year 2024
Department RS
Volume 7
Page From art. 45
Language englisch
Topic T4 Coastal System
Abstract Anthropogenic climate change (ACC) strengthens the global terrestrial water cycle (TWC) through increases in annual total precipitation (PRCPTOT) over global land. While the increase in the average global terrestrial PRCPTOT has been attributed to ACC, it is unclear whether this is equally true in dry and wet regions, given the difference in PRCPTOT changes between the two climatic regions. Here, we show the increase in PRCPTOT in dry regions is twice as fast as in wet regions of the globe during 1961–2018 in both observations and simulations. This faster increase is projected to grow with future warming, with an intensified human-induced TWC in the driest regions of the globe. We show this phenomenon can be explained by the faster warming and precipitation response rates as well as the stronger moisture transport in dry regions under ACC. Quantitative detection and attribution results show that the global increase in PRCPTOT can no longer be attributed to ACC if dry regions are excluded. From 1961–2018, the observed PRCPTOT increased by 5.63%~7.39% (2.44%~2.80%) over dry (wet) regions, and as much as 89% (as little as 5%) can be attributed to ACC. The faster ACC-induced TWC in dry regions is likely to have both beneficial and detrimental effects on dry regions of the globe, simultaneously alleviating water scarcity while increasing the risk of major flooding.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Guan, Y., Gu, X., Slater, L.J., Li, X., Li, J., Wang, L., Tang, X., Kong, D., Zhang, X. (2024):
Human-induced intensification of terrestrial water cycle in dry regions of the globe
npj Clim. Atmos. Sci. 7 , art. 45 10.1038/s41612-024-00590-9