Okay, so what can we actually say about climate change and drought? As a basic concept, drought just means less water available than normal. 1/x
BUT! Drought is a complex, interdisciplinary phenomenon at the intersection of a variety of physical, biological, and even sociopolitical processes. One should therefore be wary of over-broad, generalized statements (e.g., "droughts are getting worse/better globally") 2/x
For example, how one defines drought is REALLY important when considering the impacts of climate change! Precipitation, snow cover, streamflow, soil moisture, groundwater all can respond very differently to warming. 3/x
Drought is also highly regional! The dynamics and sensitivity of drought to climate change will be different in the Southwest US vs the Mediterranean vs East Africa vs India, etc. 4/x
Where do we have strong evidence that climate change is ALREADY beginning to make droughts more frequent or severe? A non-exhaustive list of studies: 5/x
Western North America:

Williams et al (2020): bit.ly/2P8xPSZ
Xiao et al (2018): bit.ly/3kfi1sV
Berg & Hall (2017): bit.ly/3sl9Jm9 6/x
The Mediterranean:

Hoerling et al (2012): bit.ly/3dCf58j
Gudmundsson et al (2016): bit.ly/3pKPBbl
Kelley et al (2015): bit.ly/3dFpm3J 7/x
Southern Africa:

Otto et al (2018): bit.ly/2ZJwrYM
Pascale et al (2020): bit.ly/3kfTeoA 8/x
Southwest Australia:

Delworth & Zeng (2014): go.nature.com/3pN2XUk
9/ad infinitum

Garreaud et al (2020): bit.ly/3dBHZ8I 10/ad nauseum
There are other regions where we think climate change will make drought worse, BUT we cannot say with any confidence that this drying has begun (e.g., Central America, the Southern Plains of the US) 11/make it stop
There are also still a lot of uncertainties, especially regarding the role of plants and climate change:

Swann (2018): bit.ly/2ZL84tI
Mankin et al (2019): go.nature.com/3aM7u5f

But it's pretty clear, for a lot of regions, warmer=drier

12/almost done
Finally, some recent work that we feel nicely summarizes the state of our understanding re: climate change and drought

Review Paper: bit.ly/3qNm6qM
Blog Post: bit.ly/3qQUh0S
Results from the latest climate model projections: bit.ly/3buHA5j


• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Benjamin Cook

Benjamin Cook Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @DustyBowl

19 Jul 19
I can't believe I have to do this, but here is what the NCA (National Climate Assessment) 👏 ACTUALLY 👏 says 👏 about👏 heat 👏 waves (1/ad nauseam) 👏
"The frequency of cold waves has decreased since the early 1900s, and the frequency of heat waves has INCREASED since the mid-1960s."

Key Finding 2, science2017.globalchange.gov/chapter/6/
Also: "The frequency of intense heat waves (4-day, 1-in-5 year events) has generally increased since the 1960s in most regions except the Midwest and the Great Plains. Since the early 1980s (Figure 6.4)...suggestive evidence of a slight increase in the intensity of heat waves"
Read 8 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!