Date of this Version
COMMUNICATIONS EARTH & ENVIRONMENT | https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-023-00826-1
Flash drought, characterized by unusually rapid drying, can have substantial impact on many socioeconomic sectors, particularly agriculture. However, potential changes to flash drought risk in a warming climate remain unknown. In this study, projected changes in flash drought frequency and cropland risk from flash drought are quantified using global climate model simulations. We find that flash drought occurrence is expected to increase globally among all scenarios, with the sharpest increases seen in scenarios with higher radiative forcing and greater fossil fuel usage. Flash drought risk over cropland is expected to increase globally, with the largest increases projected across North America (change in annual risk from 32% in 2015 to 49% in 2100) and Europe (32% to 53%) in the most extreme emissions scenario. Following low-end and medium scenarios compared to high-end scenarios indicates a notable reduction in annual flash drought risk over cropland.