Publication Abstracts

Coats and Mankin 2016

Coats, S., and J.S. Mankin, 2016: The challenge of accurately quantifying future megadrought risk in the American Southwest. Geophys. Res. Lett., no. 17, 9225-9233, doi:10.1002/2016GL070445.

American Southwest (ASW) megadroughts represent decadal-scale periods of dry conditions, the near-term risks of which arise from natural low-frequency hydroclimate variability and anthropogenic forcing. A large single-climate-model ensemble indicates that anthropogenic forcing increases near-term ASW megadrought risk by a factor of 100; however, accurate risk assessment remains a challenge. At the global-scale we find that anthropogenic forcing may alter the variability driving megadroughts over 55% of land areas, undermining accurate assessments of their risk. For the remaining areas, current ensembles are too small to characterize megadroughts' driving variability. For example, constraining uncertainty in near-term ASW megadrought risk to 5 percentage points with high confidence requires 287 simulations. Such ensemble sizes are beyond current computational and storage resources, and these limitations suggest that constraining errors in near-term megadrought risk projections with high confidence — even in places where underlying variability is stationary — is not currently possible.

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BibTeX Citation

@article{co05900r,
  author={Coats, S. and Mankin, J. S.},
  title={The challenge of accurately quantifying future megadrought risk in the American Southwest},
  year={2016},
  journal={Geophys. Res. Lett.},
  number={17},
  pages={9225--9233},
  doi={10.1002/2016GL070445},
}

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RIS Citation

TY  - JOUR
ID  - co05900r
AU  - Coats, S.
AU  - Mankin, J. S.
PY  - 2016
TI  - The challenge of accurately quantifying future megadrought risk in the American Southwest
JA  - Geophys. Res. Lett.
IS  - 17
SP  - 9225
EP  - 9233
DO  - 10.1002/2016GL070445
ER  -

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