Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

Probabilistic assessment of projected climatological drought characteristics over the Southeast USA

  • Published:
Climatic Change Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

The study makes a probabilistic assessment of drought risks due to climate change over the southeast USA based on 15 Global Circulation Model (GCM) simulations and two emission scenarios. The effects of climate change on drought characteristics such as drought intensity, frequency, areal extent, and duration are investigated using the seasonal and continuous standard precipitation index (SPI) and the standard evapotranspiration index (SPEI). The GCM data are divided into four time periods namely Historical (1961–1990), Near (2010–2039), Mid (2040–2069), and Late (2070–2099), and significant differences between historical and future time periods are quantified using the mapping model agreement technique. Further, the kernel density estimation approach is used to derive a novel probability-based severity-area-frequency (PBS) curve for the study domain. Analysis suggests that future increases in temperature and evapotranspiration will outstrip increases in precipitation and significantly affect future droughts over the study domain. Seasonal drought analysis suggest that the summer season will be impacted the most based on SPI and SPEI. Projections based on SPI follow precipitation patterns and fewer GCMs agree on SPI and the direction of change compared to the SPEI. Long-term and extreme drought events are projected to be affected more than short-term and moderate ones. Based on an analysis of PBS curves, especially based on SPEI, droughts are projected to become more severe in the future. The development of PBS curves is a novel feature in this study and will provide policymakers with important tools for analyzing future drought risks, vulnerabilities and help build drought resilience. The PBS curves can be replicated for studies around the world for drought assessment under climate change.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Ahmadalipour A, Moradkhani H, Svoboda M (2017) Centennial drought outlook over the CONUS using NASA-NEX downscaled climate ensemble. Int J Climatol 37(5):2477–2491

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Andreadis KM, Clarke EA, Wood AW, Hamlet AF, Lettenmeier DP (2005) Twentieth-century drought in the conterminous United States. J Hydrometeorol. https://doi.org/10.1175/JHM450.1

  • Burke EJ, Brown SJ, Christidis N (2006) Modeling the recent evolution of global drought and projections for the twenty-first century with the Hadley Centre climate model. J Hydrometeorol 7:1113–1126

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chattopadhyay S, Edwards DR, Yu Y, Hamidisepehr A (2017) An assessment of climate change impacts on future water availability and droughts in the Kentucky river basin. Environ Process 4(3):477–507. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40710-017-0259-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chen H, Jianqi S (2017) Anthropogenic warming has caused hot droughts more frequently in China. J Hydrol 544:206–318

    Google Scholar 

  • Cook BI, Smerdon JE, Seager R, Coats S (2014) Global warming and 21st century drying. Clim Dynamics 43:2607–2627

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cook BI, Ault TR, Smerdon JE (2015) Unprecedented 21st century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains. Sci Adv 1(1):e1400082. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1400082

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dai A (2011) Drought under global warming: a review. WIREs Clim Chang 2:45–65

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dai A (2012) Increasing drought under global warming in observations and models. Nat Clim Chang 3:52–58. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1633

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Heim RR (2002) A review of twentieth-century drought indices used in the United States. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 83:1149–1165

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Heinrich G, Gobiet A (2012) The future of dry and wet spells in Europe: a comprehensive study based on the ENSEMBLES regional climate models. Int J Climatol 32(13):1951–1970. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.2421

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Herrera-Estrada JE, Sheffield J (2017) Uncertainties in future projections of summer droughts and heat waves over the contiguous United States. J Clim 30(16):6225–6246. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0491.1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hoerling MP, Eischeid JK, Quan X-W, Diaz HF, Webb RS, Dole RM, Easterling DR (2012) Is a transition to semipermanent drought conditions imminent in the U.S. Great Plains? J Clim 25:8380–8386

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ingram K, Dow K, Carter L, Anderson J (2013) Climate of the Southeast United States: variability, change, impacts, and vulnerability. Island Press, Washington

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Jeong D, Sushama L, Khaliq MN (2014) The role of temperature in drought projections over North America. Clim Chang 127:289–303. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-014-1248-3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kunkel KE, Stevens LE, Stevens SE, Sun L, Janssen E, Wuebbles D, Konrad II CE, Fuhrman CM, Keim BD, Kruk MC, Billet A, Needham H, Schafer M, Dobson JG (2013) Regional Climate Trends and Scenarios for the U.S. National Climate Assessment. Part 2. Climate of the Southeast U.S., NOAA Technical Report NESDIS 142–2, 94 pp

  • Li X, Zhou W, Chen YD (2015) Assessment of regional drought trend and risk over China: a drought climate division perspective. J Clim 28(18):7025–7037. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00403.1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Madadgar S, Moradkhani H (2013) A Bayesian framework for probabilistic seasonal drought forecasting. J Hydrometeorol 14(6):1685–1705. https://doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-13-010.1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Maloney ED, Camargo SJ, Chang E, Colle B, Fu R, Geil KL, Hu Q, Jiang X, Johnson N, Karnauskas KB, Kinter J, Kirtman B, Kumar S, Langenbrunner B, Lombardo K, Long LN, Mariotti A, Meyerson JE, Mo KC, Neelin JD, Pan Z, Seager R, Serra Y, Seth A, Sheffield J, Stroeve J, Thibeault J, Xie S, Wang C, Wyman B, Zhao M (2014) North American climate in CMIP5 experiments: part III: assessment of twenty-first-century projections. J Clim 27(6):2230–2270. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00273.1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mavromatis T (2007) Drought index evaluation for assessing future wheat production in Greece. Int J Climatol 27:911–924

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Maxwell JT, Soulé PT (2009) United States drought of 2007: historical perspectives. Clim Res 38:95–104. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr00772

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McAfee SA (2013) Methodological differences in projected potential evapotranspiration. Clim Chang 120:915–930

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McKee TB, Doesken NJ, Kleist J (1993) The relationship of drought frequency and duration to time scales. In: Proceedings of Conference of Applied Climatology, American Meteorological Society, Anaheim, CA

  • Melillo JM, Richmond T, Yohe GW (eds) (2014) Climate change impacts in the United States: the Third National Climate Assessment. U.S. Global Change Research Program, 841 pp. https://doi.org/10.7930/J0Z31WJ2

  • Mishra V, Cherkauer KA (2010) Retrospective droughts in the crop growing season: implications to corn and soybean yield in the Midwestern United States. Agric For Meteorol 150:1030–1045

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mishra AK, Singh VP (2010) A review of drought concepts. J Hydrol 391:202–216. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2010.07.012

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mishra V, Shah R, Thrasher B (2014) Soil moisture droughts under the retrospective and projected climate in India. J Hydrometrology. https://doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-13-0177.1

  • Mitra S, Srivastava P (2016) Spatiotemporal variability of meteorological droughts in Southeast United States. Nat Hazards. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-016-2728-8

  • Mitra S, Srivastava P, Singh S, Yates D (2014) Effect of ENSO-induced climate variability on groundwater levels in the lower Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin. Trans ASABE 57:1393–1403

    Google Scholar 

  • Mitra S, Srivastava P, Singh S (2016) Effects of irrigation pumpage on groundwater levels during droughts in the lower Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin. Hydrogeol J. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10040-016-1414-y

  • Orlowsky B, Seneviratne SI (2013) Elusive drought: uncertainty in observed trends and short- and long-term CMIP5 projections. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 17:1765–1781. https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-17-1765-2013

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Polansky AM, Baker ER (2000) Multistage plug—In bandwidth selection for kernel distribution function estimates. J Stat Comput Simul 65:63–80

  • Sheffield J, Wood EF (2007) Characteristics of global and regional drought, 1950–2000: analysis of soil moisture data from off-line simulation of the terrestrial hydrologic cycle. J Geophys Res Atmos. https://doi.org/10.1029/2006JD008288

  • Sheffield J, Wood EF, Roderick ML (2012) Little change in global drought over the past 60 years. 10.1038/nature11575

  • Singh S, Srivastava P, Abebe A, Mitra S (2015) Baseflow response to climate variability induced droughts in the Apalachicola–Chattahoochee–Flint River Basin, U.S.A. J Hydrol 528:550–561

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Singh S, Srivastava P, Mitra S, Abebe A (2016) Climate and anthropogenic impacts on stream flows—a systematic evaluation. J Hydrol Reg Stud 8:274–286

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Strzepek K, Yohe G, Neumann J, Boehlert B (2010) Characterizing changes in drought risk for the United States from climate change. Environ Res Lett 5(4). https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/5/4/044012

  • Taylor KE, Stouffer RJ, Meehl GA (2009) A summary of the CMIP5 experiment design. WCRP CMIP5 Doc., 33 pp. [Available online at http://cmip-pcmdi.llnl.gov/cmip5/docs/Taylor_CMIP5_design.pdf

  • Tebaldi C, Arblaster JM, Knutti R (2011) Mapping model agreement on future climate projections. Geophys Res Lett 38:L23701. https://doi.org/10.1029/2011GL049863

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thober S, Kumar R, Sheffield J, Mai J, Schäfer D, Samaniego L (2015) Seasonal soil moisture drought prediction over Europe using the north American multi-model ensemble (NMME). J Hydrometeorol 16(6):2329–2344. https://doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-15-0053

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Touma D, Ashfaq M, Nayak MA, Kao S, Diffenbaugh NS (2015) A multi-model and multi-index evaluation of drought characteristics in the 21st century. J Hydrol 526:196–207

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Trenberth KE, Dai A, Van Der Schrier G, Jones PD, Barichivich J, Briffa KR, Sheffield J (2014) Global warming and changes in drought. Nat Clim Chang 4:17–22. https://doi.org/10.1038/NCLIMATE2067

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vicente-Serrano SM, Cuadrat-Prats JM (2007) Trends in drought intensity and variability in the middle Ebro valley (NE of the Iberian Peninsula) during the second half of the twentieth century. Theor Appl Climatol 88:247–258

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vicente-Serrano SM, Beguería S, López-Moreno JI (2010) A multi scalar drought index sensitive to global warming: the standardized precipitation evapo-transpiration index. J Clim 23:1696–1718

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wang L, Chen W (2014) A CMIP5 multimodel projection of future temperature, precipitation, and climatological drought in China. Int J Climatol 34:2059–2078. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.3822

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wuebbles D, Meehl G, Hayhoe K, Karl TR, Kunkel K, Santer B, Wehner M, Colle B, Fischer EM, Fu R, Goodman A, Janssen E, Kharin V, Lee H, Li W, Long LN, Olsen SC, Pan Z, Seth A, Sheffield J, Sun L (2014) CMIP5 climate model analyses: climate extremes in the United States. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 95(4):571–583. https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00172.1

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to acknowledge the funding provided by the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station for this study.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Subhasis Mitra.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Electronic supplementary material

ESM 1

(DOCX 32.4 kb)

ESM 2

(DOCX 5.27 mb)

ESM 3

(DOCX 37.4 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Mitra, S., Srivastava, P. & Lamba, J. Probabilistic assessment of projected climatological drought characteristics over the Southeast USA. Climatic Change 147, 601–615 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-018-2161-y

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-018-2161-y

Keywords

Navigation