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https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2017-100
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
07 Nov 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Dynamics (ESD).
Population exposure to droughts in China under 1.5 °C global warming target
Jie Chen1,2, Yujie Liu1, Tao Pan1, Yanhua Liu1, Fubao Sun1, and Quansheng Ge1 1Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing, 100101, PR China
2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS), Beijing, 100049, PR China
Abstract. The Paris Agreement proposes a 1.5 °C target to limit the increase in global mean temperature (GMT). Studying the population exposure to droughts under this 1.5 °C target will be helpful in guiding new policies that mitigate and adapt to disaster risks under climate change. Based on simulations from the inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP), the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) was used to calculate drought frequencies in the reference period and 1.5 °C global warming scenario. Then population exposure was evaluated by combining drought frequency with simulated population data from shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs). In addition, the relative importance of climate and demographic change and the cumulative probability of exposure change were analyzed. Results revealed that population exposure to droughts on the east side of the Hu line is much more than on the west side; exposure in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River region is the highest and lowest in the Qinghai-Tibet region. An additional 6.97 million people will be exposed to droughts under the 1.5 °C global warming scenario relative to the reference period. Demographic change is the primary contributor to exposure (79.95 %) in the 1.5 °C global warming scenario, more than climate change (29.93 %) or the interaction effect (−9.88 %). Of the three drought intensities, mild, moderate, and extreme, moderate droughts contribute the most to exposure (63.59 %). The frequency of extreme droughts is likely to decrease (71.83 % probability), while mild and moderate droughts may increase slightly (55.17 % and 51.71 % probability, respectively) in the 1.5 °C global warming scenario.

Citation: Chen, J., Liu, Y., Pan, T., Liu, Y., Sun, F., and Ge, Q.: Population exposure to droughts in China under 1.5 °C global warming target, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2017-100, in review, 2017.
Jie Chen et al.
Jie Chen et al.

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Short summary
Results show that an additional 6.97 million people will be exposed to droughts in China under 1.5 °C target relative to reference period, mostly in the east side of Hu line. Demographic change is the primary contributor to exposure. Moderate droughts contribute the most to exposure among three droughts. Our simulations suggest that drought impact on people will continue to be a large threat to China under 1.5 °C target. It will be helpful in guiding adaptation and mitigation strategies.
Results show that an additional 6.97 million people will be exposed to droughts in China under...
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