Irreversible hotter and drier climate over inner East Asia

Irreversible hotter and drier climate over inner East Asia
Trees tell a heatwave and drought history of inner East Asia. The image shows a landscape in inner Mongolia, northern China, a Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) tree-ring sample, and a figure showing tree-ring-based heatwave and soil moisture reconstructions from Zhang et al. Science (2020). Credit: Peng Zhang, Hans Linderholm, Zhang et al., Science (2020)

Mongolia’s semi-arid plateau may soon become as barren as parts of the American Southwest due to a “vicious cycle” of heatwaves—that exacerbates soil drying, and ultimately produces more heatwaves—according to an international group of climate scientists.


Writing in the journal Science, the researchers warn that heatwaves and concurrent droughts have increased significantly during the past two decades, with troubling implications for the future. Using tree-ring data, which offer a glimpse of regional climates from before modern weather logs, the researchers developed heatwave and soil moisture records that suggest recent consecutive years of record high

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New study shows impacts of increased levels of evaporative demand as climate grows warmer and drier — ScienceDaily

Climate change and a “thirsty atmosphere” will bring more extreme wildfire danger and multi-year droughts to Nevada and California by the end of this century, according to new research from the Desert Research Institute (DRI), the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, and the University of California, Merced.

In a new study published in Earth’s Future, scientists looked at future projections of evaporative demand — a measure of how dry the air is — in California and Nevada through the end of the 21st century. They then examined how changes in evaporative demand would impact the frequency of extreme fire danger and three-year droughts, based on metrics from the Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI) and the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI).

According to their results, climate change projections show consistent future increases in atmospheric evaporative demand (or the “atmospheric thirst”) over California and Nevada.

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