Warming climate may spread drying to a third of Earth, says study

Mar 31, 2014
The U.S. corn belt and many other regions around the world may be at greater risk of drought by 2100 as warmer temperatures wring more moisture from the soil. (Cathy Haglund, Flickr)

Increasing heat is expected to extend dry conditions to far more farmland and cities by the end of the century than changes in rainfall alone, says a new study. Much of the concern about future drought under global warming has focused on rainfall projections, but higher evaporation rates may also play an important role as warmer temperatures wring more moisture from the soil, even in some places where rainfall is forecasted to increase, say the researchers.

The study is one of the first to use the latest simulations to model the effects of both changing rainfall and evaporation rates on future . Published this month in the journal Climate Dynamics, the study estimates that 12 percent of land will be subject to drought by 2100 through rainfall changes alone; but the drying will spread to 30 percent of land if higher evaporation rates from the added energy and humidity in the atmosphere is considered. An increase in evaporative drying means that even regions expected to get more rain, including important wheat, corn and rice belts in the western United States and southeastern China, will be at risk of drought. The study excludes Antarctica.

"We know from basic physics that warmer temperatures will help to dry things out," said the study's lead author, Benjamin Cook, a climate scientist with joint appointments at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. "Even if precipitation changes in the future are uncertain, there are good reasons to be concerned about water resources."

In its latest climate report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that soil moisture is expected to decline globally and that already dry regions will be at greater risk of agricultural drought. The IPCC also predicts a strong chance of soil moisture drying in the Mediterranean, southwestern United States and southern African regions, consistent with the Climate Dynamics study.

Using two drought metric formulations, the study authors analyze projections of both rainfall and evaporative demand from the collection of completed for the IPCC's 2013 climate report. Both metrics agree that increased evaporative drying will probably tip marginally wet regions at mid-latitudes like the U.S. Great Plains and a swath of southeastern China into aridity. If precipitation were the only consideration, these great agricultural centers would not be considered at risk of drought. The researchers also say that dry zones in Central America, the Amazon and southern Africa will grow larger. In Europe, the summer aridity of Greece, Turkey, Italy and Spain is expected to extend farther north into continental Europe.

"For agriculture, the moisture balance in the soil is what really matters," said study coauthor Jason Smerdon, a climate scientist at Lamont-Doherty. "If rain increases slightly but temperatures also increase, drought is a potential consequence."

Today, while bad weather periodically lowers crop yields in some places, other regions are typically able to compensate to avert food shortages. In the warmer weather of the future, however, crops in multiple regions could wither simultaneously, the authors suggest. "Food-price shocks could become far more common," said study coauthor Richard Seager, a climate scientist at Lamont-Doherty. Large cities, especially in arid regions, will need to carefully manage their water supplies, he added.

The study builds on an emerging body of research looking at how evaporative demand influences hydroclimate. "It confirms something we've suspected for a long time," said Toby Ault, a at Cornell University, who was not involved in the study. "Temperature alone can make drought more widespread. Studies like this give us a few new powerful tools to plan for and adapt to climate change."

Rainfall changes do not tell the whole story, agrees University of New South Wales researcher Steven Sherwood, in a recent Perspectives piece in the leading journal Science. "Many regions will get more rain, but it appears that few will get enough to keep pace with the growing evaporative demand."

The authors have made all their data and calculations public available on a supplementary website.

Explore further: Number of days without rain to dramatically increase in some world regions

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Feldagast
2.2 / 5 (20) Mar 31, 2014
When it snows or rains more its climate change, now they predict drought the exact opposite, and its climate change. We just had a real shitty winter, and they blamed climate change, I once thought you might have had a point until I saw how much funding is constantly being asked for for more climate studies and think your all just out to make a buck.
The Shootist
2.5 / 5 (26) Mar 31, 2014
Everything is climate change. Politicians are going to steal from us for the next 100 years to solve a problem that never existed.

And the leftists will welcome this tyranny with open arms.
Porgie
2.5 / 5 (19) Mar 31, 2014
The only bad thing about Physorg is the liberal drivel they put out on global arming and how bad, progress and jobs are for the planet. They want to call it climate change now because too many got caught cheating, redacting, and falsifying, data about global warming. So now its climate change and since the climate changes daily they are not technically lying.
Caliban
3.4 / 5 (15) Mar 31, 2014
What's really sad is that the $$$ spent by the NeoCon LibertaRandite Complex will continue to delay an effective response to the single greatest challenge that humanity has ever faced, and only serve to prolong the suffering of literally billions of people.

All for the continued, shameful, naked pursuit of short-term profitability.
cabhanlistis
3.3 / 5 (11) Mar 31, 2014
Has anyone actually produced evidence that it's for the money?
Agomemnon
2.3 / 5 (16) Mar 31, 2014
imprimatur => given to any 'study' or 'conjecture' , but I repeat myself, that defends/supports the preconceived belief in catastrophic human-caused global warming via trace gas of CO2

heresy => any 'study' or 'empirical evidence' that veers from 'catastrophe' belief in any way. For example the fact that increased CO2 benefits plant growth greatly.

3432682
2.2 / 5 (17) Mar 31, 2014
A warmer climate would mean more rainfall, not less. Even the IPCC says that. The claim is backwards.
Caliban
3.6 / 5 (15) Mar 31, 2014
A warmer climate would mean more rainfall, not less. Even the IPCC says that. The claim is backwards.


No, warmer climate means increased precipitation in traditionally wetter regions, and less in traditionally drier.

Most of the cereal crops are produced in "transitional" regions where precipitation patterns are more variable, ie, prone to periods of dry or drought conditions.

Therefore, more heat produces more drying still, which means dryer or droughtier conditions
--quite possibly with greater frequency/duration-- in those areas. Also the opposite --periods of increased wetness/flooding, which are also quite damaging to crops.

It's a somewhat difficult state of affairs to conceptualise, but there you have it.

You probably didn't deserve a 1-ranking for that comment, but I initially read your comment as as being willfull disunderatanding, rather than possibly simple misunderstanding.

If the latter is the case, then please accept my apologies.

ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (17) Mar 31, 2014
Has anyone actually produced evidence that it's for the money?

Those making money are the supporters of AGW.
Ken Lay of Enron was a big supporter of Kyoto so Enron could profit from trading carbon credits and selling natural gas and building natural gas pipelines.
Al Gore and many other cronies have profited financially and the scientists have become managers of their own well endowed research institutes.
Howhot
3.4 / 5 (15) Apr 01, 2014
@R2 says;
Al Gore and many other cronies have profited financially and the scientists have become managers of their own well endowed research institutes.
Of course your a POS liar too. Where is your research work on that one R2?
ubavontuba
1.9 / 5 (18) Apr 01, 2014
If the warmists were really concerned about the warming, why is it none of them are happy the globe is cooling?

http://www.woodfo...14/trend

Obviously the warmists don't really care about the environment. as they fight tooth and claw to hide this fact from the populace. Therefore it appears they're in it for the money and political control.

The Shootist
2.1 / 5 (16) Apr 01, 2014
"Generally speaking, I'm much more of a conformist, but it happens I have strong views about climate because I think the majority is badly wrong, and you have to make sure if the majority is saying something that they're not talking nonsense." - Freeman Dyson (who is smarter and more educated about damn near anything, than any of you fools).

An Internet meme worth repeating, "The polar bears will be fine". - Freeman Dyson
Maggnus
3.8 / 5 (13) Apr 01, 2014
"Generally speaking, I'm much more of a conformist, but it happens I have strong views about climate because I think the majority is badly wrong, and you have to make sure if the majority is saying something that they're not talking nonsense." - Freeman Dyson (who is smarter and more educated about damn near anything, than any of you fools).

An Internet meme worth repeating, "The polar bears will be fine". - Freeman Dyson


Yep, there's Shootist's logic; Freeman Dyson doesn't accept the science, and Freeman Dyson is really smart, so global warming must not be happening.
Maggnus
3.9 / 5 (14) Apr 01, 2014
If the warmists were really concerned about the warming, why is it none of them are happy the globe is cooling?

http://www.woodfo...14/trend

Obviously the warmists don't really care about the environment. as they fight tooth and claw to hide this fact from the populace. Therefore it appears they're in it for the money and political control.



Whack-a-mole!
Maggnus
3.8 / 5 (13) Apr 01, 2014
Coming back to Dyson, I think this quote is a much better summation of his position:

"What I'm convinced of is that we don't understand climate, and so that's sort of a neutral position. I'm not saying the majority is necessarily wrong. I'm saying that they don't understand what they're seeing. It will take a lot of very hard work before that question is settled, so I shall remain neutral until something very different happens."

In other words, he hasn't really looked at the issue, but distrusts "the majority opinion"; this is a position he has taken for most of his life on everything from Relativity to PH.D education. If you think he is so smart Shootist, you aught to try and understand what he is actually saying, rather than taking up the sound bites handed to you by denialist blog writers.
Maggnus
3.9 / 5 (14) Apr 01, 2014
Ken Lay of Enron was a big supporter of Kyoto so Enron could profit from trading carbon credits and selling natural gas and building natural gas pipelines.
Al Gore and many other cronies have profited financially and the scientists have become managers of their own well endowed research institutes.


Typical of this Schizoaffective disordered nutcase; he doesn't want to discuss science, he wants to pontificate about how every woe on the planet is the result of socialism. He sees socialism EVERYWHERE!

He is a bloody loon, his rants are evidence of his disorder, and his position on everything is colored by his fervent desire that all of the planet's problems are the result of some socialist agenda to steal your freedoms and impose some nebulous government control!

There is no logical means to deal with the idiot, you cannot reason with him, and you cannot trust anything he says because his world revolves around his paranoid vision of anti-socialism.

ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (15) Apr 01, 2014
@R2 says;
Al Gore and many other cronies have profited financially and the scientists have become managers of their own well endowed research institutes.
Of course your a POS liar too. Where is your research work on that one R2?

Pull your head out and do just wee bit of research.
But then you won't like what you find so keep your head up your arse.
Can't destroy the image of your heroes can we?
ScooterG
2.3 / 5 (18) Apr 01, 2014
When it snows or rains more its climate change, now they predict drought the exact opposite, and its climate change. We just had a real shitty winter, and they blamed climate change, I once thought you might have had a point until I saw how much funding is constantly being asked for for more climate studies and think your all just out to make a buck.


Make no mistake - AGW is all about the buck.
Maggnus
4 / 5 (12) Apr 01, 2014
Make no mistake - AGW is all about the buck.
Deer? Now its all about the deer? What about the owl? Or the rats? Are the deer and the owls connected? Cause they are both in the forest maybe? But what about the rats? Are the rats chasing the deer and scaring the owls?

Make no mistake, scooter's logic is special!
Maggnus
3.8 / 5 (13) Apr 01, 2014
Pull your head out and do just wee bit of research.
But then you won't like what you find so keep your head up your arse.
Can't destroy the image of your heroes can we?
Research? Like quote mining on denialist blogs and then misrepresenting the blogger's opinions as facts? Isn't that akin to socialism?
Eddy Courant
3.2 / 5 (9) Apr 01, 2014
In other news: "Data from satellite sensors show that during the Northern Hemisphere's growing season, the Midwest region of the United States boasts more photosynthetic activity than any other spot on Earth, according to NASA and university scientists."

Read more at: http://phys.org/n...html#jCp
Maggnus
3.3 / 5 (13) Apr 01, 2014
In other news: "Data from satellite sensors show that during the Northern Hemisphere's growing season, the Midwest region of the United States boasts more photosynthetic activity than any other spot on Earth, according to NASA and university scientists."

Read more at: http://phys.org/n...html#jCp


So?
TegiriNenashi
1.9 / 5 (14) Apr 01, 2014
"An increase in evaporative drying means that even regions expected to get more rain, including important wheat, corn and rice belts in the western United States and southeastern China, will be at risk of drought."

That sounds contradictory to

"Data from satellite sensors show that during the Northern Hemisphere's growing season, the Midwest region of the United States boasts more photosynthetic activity than any other spot on Earth, according to NASA and university scientists.... The Corn Belt, ... receives water from the Mississippi River. "

In other words: unless Mississippi River dries out, corn production is safe.

Next: "The study excludes Antarctica." Is this tribute to Fools day?
Maggnus
3.9 / 5 (11) Apr 01, 2014
Tengiri, there is a difference between a lack of rain (drought) and river water for irrigation (such as is needed to grow food in a desert). The two are not contradictory at all.
cabhanlistis
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 01, 2014
Okay, I'll take that to mean no one has evidence that it's for the money.
Howhot
3.7 / 5 (9) Apr 01, 2014
@R2 say
Pull your head out and do just wee bit of research.
Sorry for my language slip. If you would join me in a little 'wee bit of research' I am absolutely certain you would see there is a crisis pending for the people of Earth, and it is an extinction event severity level. You and the deniers are fooling yourselves if you don't think 400ppm CO2 is indicative of a massive global extinction event when history shows otherwise. Every extinction event has always been associated with a massive atmospheric CO2 release, acid oceans, and huge die offs. Using just the numbers, you get a 1C rise for every 50 ppm CO2 increase, and we started at 270ppm. That is 'rule of thumb', but it fits with observation. 50ppm = 1C for the next 100 years.

When was the last time the Arctic ice sheet melted and remained melted year long?



Captain Stumpy
3.8 / 5 (10) Apr 02, 2014
Okay, I'll take that to mean no one has evidence that it's for the money.
@cabhanlistis
actually, yes... someone DID do a study and found out that the denialist/anti-global warming front is being funded by people who don't want people to see the truth.

Big oil as well as certain other sectors have a vested interest in people staying with the status quo. Although I do see where some big oil ALSO invests in other technology too.

The bottom line is: If it is legitimate science, why hide the sources? If you are doing legitimate science, why don't you want your name plastered all over the promotions/publications/etc etc showing how you support it?

the simple answer is: they hide because they know it is NOT legit, and they fear the backlash.

I hope that helps and answers your question.

http://phys.org/n...ate.html

www.drexel.edu/~/...nge.ashx
cabhanlistis
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 02, 2014
Thank you Captain. I am reading those and will keep them in my library.
Mike_Massen
3.9 / 5 (7) Apr 05, 2014
The Shootist shows his extreme ignorance
.. to solve a problem that never existed.
And the leftists will welcome this tyranny with open arms.
So you are completely ignorant The Shootist of:-

- Rising CO2 levels
- Thermal properties of CO2
- We are burning ~230,000 L of Petrol each & every second,

And YOU The Shootist, have the idiocy to claim it never existed, what a dick !

Why is it so hard to appreciate amoungst rednecks that ADDING CO2 to the atmosphere AND ADDING heat has an effect from warming to melting glaciers to decreasing salinity to rising sea levels to ocean acidificaiton ?

Head in sand ! The Shootist !

Focus on Science The Shootist, not politics, get an EDUCATION in Heat, Statistical Mechanics, Properties of water, oh and Calculus - u Know - MATHS !

FFS - wake up !
Mike_Massen
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 05, 2014
ScooterG claims
Make no mistake - AGW is all about the buck.
Sounds like a Bush Mantra - make no mistake - he made plenty.

Compared the income from oil companies vs the funding to Scientists ?

Which one has the greatest cash flow by far - GUESS ?

Surely you can't be so lame as to be ignorant of economics of research and contrast
this with company profits by the major oil producers ?

And, what about the well recorded rise in CO2 ?

The thermal properties of CO2 ?

Decreasing salinity ?

Ocean acidification ?

Which planet are you on ?
jackjump
2 / 5 (8) Apr 05, 2014
A third of Earth? That's the entire landmass of Earth. So it gets hotter, the 7/10th of Earth that is ocean is evaporating more water, the landmass is evaporating more water, the atmosphere is really getting saturated with moisture but the rain slows down? That's proof that you can make climate models do any damn thing you want.
MR166
2.6 / 5 (10) Apr 05, 2014
So the climate models predict that the dry areas will get dryer and the wet areas will get wetter. These are the same models that once predicted that snow is a thing of the past and that now are predicting more snow. The same that predicted more hurricanes. The same that predicted massive melting of both ice caps.

If climate models were a car they would be a 1975 Pinto that is held together by duct tape and bailing wire. As the old parts fall off new ones are taped and glued back on and the result is called a new and improved model.

Read more at: http://phys.org/n...html#jCp
freeiam
2.3 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2014
Coming back to Dyson, I think this quote is a much better summation of his position:

"What I'm convinced of is that we don't understand climate, and so that's sort of a neutral position. I'm not saying the majority is necessarily wrong. I'm saying that they don't understand what they're seeing. It will take a lot of very hard work before that question is settled, so I shall remain neutral until something very different happens."

In other words, he hasn't really looked at the issue, but distrusts "the majority opinion";

You should read the quote again especially the part where he states that he disagrees with the current state of affairs and only a revolution will change his mind.
freeiam
2 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2014
Does anyone think of qanats?
Most areas are desert for a long time now.
Humanity defines adaptation.
Mike_Massen
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 06, 2014
MR166 Claims - with ZERO references:-
So the climate models predict that the dry areas will get dryer and the wet areas will get wetter. These are the same models that once predicted that snow is a thing of the past and that now are predicting more snow. The same that predicted more hurricanes. The same that predicted massive melting of both ice caps.
Prove MR166 your ambit puerile claim model claimed in sentence one above is the same as sentence two & with defined parameters ?

Prove MR166 that the model claimed in sentence three is the same as either sentence one or two and with defined parameters ?

Prove MR166 that the model claimed in sentence four bears any relationship to those in the previous three sentences and that the parameters are defined ?

Embarrassed ?

MR166 why do you show willful ignorance of models, how they function, probabilistic basis of interactions/activity & the asymptotic nature of the whole process ?

Education MR166, Community college for you PLEASE !
ScooterG
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 06, 2014
ScooterG claims
Make no mistake - AGW is all about the buck.
Sounds like a Bush Mantra - make no mistake - he made plenty.

Compared the income from oil companies vs the funding to Scientists ?

Which one has the greatest cash flow by far - GUESS ?

Surely you can't be so lame as to be ignorant of economics of research and contrast
this with company profits by the major oil producers ?

And, what about the well recorded rise in CO2 ?

The thermal properties of CO2 ?

Decreasing salinity ?

Ocean acidification ?

Which planet are you on ?


Trying to liken Big Oil to Big AGW is lame at best. The only thing the two have in common is that they are both for-profit entities.

Big Oil produces a tangible product that we all use to enhance our lives. AGW is nothing but a scam and a leach on society, producing nothing but employment for research whores.
MR166
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 06, 2014
Trying to differentiate between the different climate models is an exercise in stupidity since they are all written to prove the Apocalypse de jour. No warming and too much snow, put a little more lipstick on the pig and have it prove crop failures in 2100.
Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 06, 2014
Thank you Captain. I am reading those and will keep them in my library.
@cabhanlistis

You are welcome
when it comes to climate science, I would suggest looking at the science and nothing else... you will see many people argue about everything from the people (like Gore et al) to the organizations behind it, but the science is where it is at.

So far there is tons of empirical data showing that it is warming, that humans are a art of the problem, and that we are in a tight spot if we don't do something about it... if ANYONE tells you that there is proof otherwise, ask for EMPIRICAL DATA
look at the studies! the publications! the dates! etc!
Talk to people like Tim Thompson (formerly of jpl who did climate science as well)
Runrig is another who was in the field

just whatever you do, always require empirical data, not blogs, or even news reports. go for the hard science and you will learn the TRUTH
READ ALL STUDIES LINKED
here is a good start
http://theconsensusproject.com
Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 06, 2014
Thank you Captain. I am reading those and will keep them in my library.

@cabhanlistis
here are some more good links
http://biology.du...ge3.html

http://centerforo...warming/

Watch the video in the next link here: http://qz.com/163...n-worse/

http://www.climat...l-levels

pay special attention to all links/studies. look at the web pages too... don't trust something that is a blog unless you can read the link it talks about (like skeptical science blog)

just some pointers. Maggnus can help with more, as well as Howhot and others mentioned above.
PEACE
cabhanlistis
4 / 5 (4) Apr 06, 2014
Awesome. Thank you for all of that.

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