One of the possible consequences of projected global warming is the progressive enlargement of drylands. This study investigates to what extent population and land-use (forests, pastures, and croplands) are likely to be in areas turning arid in the 21st century. The first part of the study focuses on the climatological enlargement of arid areas at global, macro-regional, and high-resolution (0.44 degrees) scales. To do so we analysed a large ensemble of CORDEX climate simulations, combined three indicators (FAO-UNEP aridity index, Ko center dot ppen-Geiger climate classification, and Holdridge life zones), and quantified the areas turning from climatologically not arid into climatologically arid (and vice-versa) from recent past (1981-2010) to four projected global warming levels (GWLs) from 1.5 degrees C to 4 degrees C. In the second part, we used population and land-use projections to analyze their exposure to progressive shifts to drier or wetter climate. Both types of projections follow five socio-economic scenarios (SSPs from SSP1 to SSP5). We present results for the viable combinations between SSPs and GWLs. Depending on GWL, the projected drying patterns show regional differences but, overall, the negative consequences of climate change are clear. Already at 1.5 degrees C warming, approximately 2 million km2 (1.4% of global land) are likely to become arid; at 2 degrees C this area corresponds to 2.6 million km2 (2.7%), at 3 degrees C to 5.2 million km2 (3.5%), and at 4 degrees C to 6.8 million km2 (4.5%), an area that can be ranked the seventh largest country in the World. Such drying is particular strong over South America and southern Europe. In the worst-case scenario (SSP3, regional rivalry, at 4 degrees C), approximately 500 million people will live in areas shifting towards arid climate. Forest areas are likely to be more affected in South America, pastures in Africa, and croplands in the Northern Hemisphere. For land-use, the worst-case scenarios are SSP3 and SSP5 (fossil-fuel based future): at GWL 4 degrees C, about 0.5 million km2 of forests and 1.2 million km2 of both pastures and croplands are likely to be in areas shifting to arid climate.

How will the progressive global increase of arid areas affect population and land-use in the 21st century? / Jonathan Spinoni; Paulo Barbosa; Michael Cherlet; Giovanni Forzieri; Niall McCormick; Gustavo Naumann; J??rgen V. Vogt; Alessandro Dosio. - In: GLOBAL AND PLANETARY CHANGE. - ISSN 0921-8181. - ELETTRONICO. - 205:(2021), pp. 0-0. [10.1016/j.gloplacha.2021.103597]

How will the progressive global increase of arid areas affect population and land-use in the 21st century?

Giovanni Forzieri;
2021

Abstract

One of the possible consequences of projected global warming is the progressive enlargement of drylands. This study investigates to what extent population and land-use (forests, pastures, and croplands) are likely to be in areas turning arid in the 21st century. The first part of the study focuses on the climatological enlargement of arid areas at global, macro-regional, and high-resolution (0.44 degrees) scales. To do so we analysed a large ensemble of CORDEX climate simulations, combined three indicators (FAO-UNEP aridity index, Ko center dot ppen-Geiger climate classification, and Holdridge life zones), and quantified the areas turning from climatologically not arid into climatologically arid (and vice-versa) from recent past (1981-2010) to four projected global warming levels (GWLs) from 1.5 degrees C to 4 degrees C. In the second part, we used population and land-use projections to analyze their exposure to progressive shifts to drier or wetter climate. Both types of projections follow five socio-economic scenarios (SSPs from SSP1 to SSP5). We present results for the viable combinations between SSPs and GWLs. Depending on GWL, the projected drying patterns show regional differences but, overall, the negative consequences of climate change are clear. Already at 1.5 degrees C warming, approximately 2 million km2 (1.4% of global land) are likely to become arid; at 2 degrees C this area corresponds to 2.6 million km2 (2.7%), at 3 degrees C to 5.2 million km2 (3.5%), and at 4 degrees C to 6.8 million km2 (4.5%), an area that can be ranked the seventh largest country in the World. Such drying is particular strong over South America and southern Europe. In the worst-case scenario (SSP3, regional rivalry, at 4 degrees C), approximately 500 million people will live in areas shifting towards arid climate. Forest areas are likely to be more affected in South America, pastures in Africa, and croplands in the Northern Hemisphere. For land-use, the worst-case scenarios are SSP3 and SSP5 (fossil-fuel based future): at GWL 4 degrees C, about 0.5 million km2 of forests and 1.2 million km2 of both pastures and croplands are likely to be in areas shifting to arid climate.
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Jonathan Spinoni; Paulo Barbosa; Michael Cherlet; Giovanni Forzieri; Niall McCormick; Gustavo Naumann; J??rgen V. Vogt; Alessandro Dosio
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1284193
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