Projected changes in the Iberian Peninsula drought characteristics
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García-Valdecasas Ojeda, M.; Gámiz-Fortis, S.R.; Romero-Jiménez, E.; Rosa-Cánvas, J.J.; Castro-Díez, Y. and Esteban-Parra, M.J. 2021. Projected changes in the Iberian Peninsula drought characteristics.. Science of the Total Environment, 757, 143702.
SponsorshipDepartamento de Física Aplicada, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Granada; FEDER / Junta de Andalucía - Ministry of Economy and Knowledge / Project [B-RNM-336-UGR18]; Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, with additional support from the European Community Funds (FEDER) [CGL2013-48539-R and537 CGL2017-89836-R]
High spatial resolution drought projections for the Iberian Peninsula (IP) have been examined in terms of duration, frequency, and severity of drought events. For this end, a set of regional climate simulations was completed using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model driven by two global climate models (GCMs), the CCSM4 and the MPI-ESM-LR, for a near (2021–2050) and a far (2071–2100) future, and under two representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). Projected changes for these simulations were analyzed using two drought indices, the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) and the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), considering different time scales (3- and 12-months). The results showed that the IP is very likely to undergo longer and more severe drought events. Substantial changes in drought parameters (i.e., frequency, duration, and severity) were projected by both indices and at both time scales in most of the IP. These changes are particularly strong by the end of the century under RCP8.5. Meanwhile, the intensification of drought conditions is expected to be more moderate for the near future. However, the results also indicated key differences between indices. Projected drought conditions by using the SPEI showed more severe increases in drought events than those from SPI by the end of the century and, especially, for the high-emission scenario. The most extreme conditions were projected in terms of the duration of the events. Specifically, results from the 12-month SPEI analysis suggested a significant risk of megadrought events (drought events longer than 15 years) in many areas of IP by the end of the century under RCP8.5.