Arid/humid patterns over Asia in response to national-committed emission reductions under the Paris agreement

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Abstract

The evolution of regional arid/humid patterns caused by global climate change deserves attention. We investigated the changes in the area of arid/humid climate regions over Asia under the aegis of national-committed emission reductions to comply with the Paris Agreement using an ensemble of 17 global climate models (GCMs) from the Fifth Coupled Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) archives. Our results indicated an overall trend towards aridity in a future warmer climate based on an aridity index (AI), defined as the ratio of precipitation to potential evapotranspiration (PET). In the future, the humid region will contract and the arid region and arid/humid transition zones will expand. Compared with the present period, arid/humid region switch is projected to occur in a land area of 2512.8 × 103 km2 over Asia under the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC)-pledge scenario. If global warming is controlled to the ambitious 2.0 °C and 1.5 °C scenarios instead of that of the INDC-pledge scenario, a decrease in the changes in the area of arid/humid regions by more than half would be expected. In addition, the arid/humid regions with continuous global warming are estimated to contract/expand greatly. Changes in the spatial pattern of the arid/humid zones over Asia show strong similarities between multi-model simulations, although there are some differences in detail.

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Wang, F., & Zhang, J. (2020). Arid/humid patterns over Asia in response to national-committed emission reductions under the Paris agreement. Progress in Earth and Planetary Science, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40645-020-00325-3

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