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Evidence of increasing drought severity caused by temperature rise in southern Europe
Title: Evidence of increasing drought severity caused by temperature rise in southern Europe
Authors: Vicente Serrano, Sergio MartínLópez Moreno, Juan IgnacioBegueria, SantiagoLorenzo-Lacruz, JorgeSánchez Lorenzo, ArturoGarcía Ruiz, José MaríaAzorín Molina, CésarMorán Tejeda, EnriqueRevuelto, JesúsTrigo, Ricardo MachadoCoelho, FátimaEspejo Gil, FranciscoAutor AEMET
Keywords: Evapotranspiration; Streamflow; Climatic change; Water resources
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: IOP Publishing
Citation: Environmental Research Letters. 2014, 9(4), p. 1-10
Publisher version:
Abstract: We use high quality climate data from ground meteorological stations in the Iberian Peninsula (IP) and robust drought indices to confirm that drought severity has increased in the past five decades, as a consequence of greater atmospheric evaporative demand resulting from temperature rise. Increased drought severity is independent of the model used to quantify the reference evapotranspiration. We have also focused on drought impacts to droughtsensitive systems, such as river discharge, by analyzing streamflow data for 287 rivers in the IP, and found that hydrological drought frequency and severity have also increased in the past five decades in natural, regulated and highly regulated basins. Recent positive trend in the atmospheric water demand has had a direct influence on the temporal evolution of streamflows, clearly identified during the warm season, in which higher evapotranspiration rates are recorded. This pattern of increase in evaporative demand and greater drought severity is probably applicable to other semiarid regions of the world, including other Mediterranean areas, the Sahel, southern Australia and South Africa, and can be expected to increasingly compromise water supplies and cause political, social and economic tensions among regions in the near future.
Sponsorship : This work has been supported by research projects CGL201127574CO202, CGL201127536 and CGL2011–24185 financed by the Spanish Commission of Science and Technology and FEDER, ‘Demonstration and validation of innovative methodology for regional climate change adaptation in the Mediterranean area (LIFE MEDACC)’ financed by the LIFE programme of the European Commission, CTTP1/12, financed by the Comunidad de Trabajo de los Pirineos, and QSECA (PTDC/AAGGLO/ 4155/2012) funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). ASL was supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Catalan Government (2011 BPB 00078) and CAM was supported by a Juan de la Cierva fellowship by the Spanish Government.
ISSN: 1748-9326
Appears in Collections:Artículos científicos 2010-2014

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