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Contribution of temperature to Chilean droughts using ensemble climate projections

Zambrano-Bigiarini, Mauricio; Alfieri, Lorenzo; Naumann, Gustavo; Garreaud, René

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    "description": "<p>Precipitation deficit is traditionally considered as the main driver of drought events, however the evolution of&nbsp;drought conditions is also influenced by other variables such as temperature, wind speed and&nbsp;evapotranspiration. In view of global warming, the effect of rising temperatures may lead to increased socio-economic drought impacts, particularly in vulnerable developing countries. In this work, we used two drought&nbsp;indices to analyze the impacts of precipitation and temperature on the frequency, severity and duration of<br>\nChilean droughts (25&deg;S-56&deg;S) during the XXI century, using multi-model climate projections consistent with&nbsp;the high-end RCP 8.5 scenario.</p>\n\n<p><br>\nAn ensemble of seven global CMIP5 simulations were used to drive the Earth System Model EC-EARTH3-HR&nbsp;v3.1 over the 1976-2100 period, in order to increase the spatial resolution from the original grid to 0.35&deg;. The&nbsp;Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) was used to describe the impact of precipitation on drought conditions,&nbsp;while the Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) was used to assess the effect of&nbsp;temperature -throughout changes in potential evapotranspiration- on drought characteristics at different time&nbsp;scales. Drought indices along with duration, severity and frequency of drought events were computed for a&nbsp;30-year baseline period (1976-2005) and then compared to three 30-year periods representing short, medium&nbsp;and long-term scenarios (2011&ndash;2040, 2041-2070 and 2071&ndash;2100). Indices obtained from climate simulations&nbsp;during the baseline period were compared against the corresponding values derived from ground&nbsp;observations.</p>\n\n<p><br>\nResults obtained with SPI-12 reveal a progressive decrease in precipitation in Chile, which is consistent&nbsp;through all climate models, though each of them shows a different spatial pattern. Simulations based on&nbsp;SPEI-12 show that the expected increase in evaporative demand (driven by the temperature increase) for the&nbsp;region is likely to exacerbate the severity and duration of drought events. Findings of this work are an&nbsp;important support for timely preparation of drought adaptation and mitigation plans to improve water<br>\nmanagement strategies and resilience during the XXI century.</p>", 
    "language": "eng", 
    "title": "Contribution of temperature to Chilean droughts using ensemble climate projections", 
    "license": {
      "id": "CC-BY-4.0"
    "notes": "Fondecyt 111 50 861", 
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    "keywords": [
      "Climate change", 
      "RCP 8.5"
    "publication_date": "2017-12-11", 
    "creators": [
        "orcid": "0000-0002-9536-643X", 
        "affiliation": "Department of Civil Engineering, Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile", 
        "name": "Zambrano-Bigiarini, Mauricio"
        "orcid": "0000-0002-3616-386X", 
        "affiliation": "Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Ispra, Italy", 
        "name": "Alfieri, Lorenzo"
        "orcid": "0000-0002-8767-5099", 
        "affiliation": "Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Ispra, Italy", 
        "name": "Naumann, Gustavo"
        "orcid": "0000-0002-7875-2443", 
        "affiliation": "Department of Geophysics, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile", 
        "name": "Garreaud, Ren\u00e9"
    "meeting": {
      "dates": "11-15 December 2017", 
      "title": "American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2017", 
      "acronym": "AGU 2017", 
      "url": "", 
      "session": "H11O: Hydroclimatic Extremes: Drought", 
      "place": "New Orleans 8USA)", 
      "session_part": "I"
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