Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Consistent trends in dry spell length in recent observations and future projections

Wainwright, Caroline M. ORCID:, Allan, Richard P. and Black, Emily 2022. Consistent trends in dry spell length in recent observations and future projections. Geophysical Research Letters 49 (12) , e2021GL097231. 10.1029/2021GL097231

[thumbnail of Geophysical Research Letters - 2022 - Wainwright - Consistent Trends in Dry Spell Length in Recent Observations and Future.pdf] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (2MB)


We identify global observed changes in dry-spell characteristics that are consistent with future projections and involve common physical drivers. Future projections of longer dry spells in the dry season increase vegetation water stress and can negatively impact perennial vegetation. Lengthening dry season dry spells of up to ∼2 days per decade over South America and southern Africa and shortening of similar magnitude over West Africa display a qualitatively consistent pattern to future projected changes under the Shared Socioeconomic Pathway 2-4.5 intermediate greenhouse gas emissions scenario. By combining a range of present-day climate model experiments, recent trends are linked with both natural and human-caused drivers. Longer dry season dry spells over South America are associated with relative warming of North Atlantic sea surface temperatures and amplified warming over land compared with adjacent oceans; both of which are projected to continue under further warming, suggesting a common driver for recent trends and future projections.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 January 2023
Date of Acceptance: 27 May 2022
Last Modified: 11 May 2023 15:02

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics