Special Issue "Global Changes in Drought Frequency and Severity"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 December 2019.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Jonathan Spinoni
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Directorate E (Space, Security and Migration), Unit E1 (Disaster Risk Management)—via E. Fermi 2749, TP267, I-21027 Ispra (VA), Italy
Interests: vegetation; drought; soil; energy; crop

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Drought is often considered as a natural hazard similar to floods, heatwaves, and windstorms. However, with its many definitions and the overall difficulty in estimating its onset, duration, and impacts, more and more analyses and investigations are needed in order to improve the state-of-art of global trends in drought.

This Special Issue calls for contributions on drought frequency and severity, at both a global and continental (or macro-regional) scale. This Issue welcomes original studies on meteorological, hydrological, agricultural, ecological, and socio-economic drought. The single studies can be based on known indicators or new ones can be proposed. Particular attention to the input data quality is recommended. Exceptionally, reviews of the current methodologies to analyze drought trends can be accepted.

Also, studies on single extreme drought events can fit the scopes of this Special Issue, especially if the record-breaking drought events are compared with regional or global events. We also encourage the possible contributors to submit papers dealing with drought risk, with an eye on impacts and socio-economic consequences of droughts.

The results should be presented in tables and high-quality maps, but also interactive material will be considered. Please, avoid very long papers and prioritize the original outputs.

Dr. Jonathan Spinoni
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • climate change
  • drought events
  • drought indicators
  • drought risk
  • global warming

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Variation of the Relative Soil Moisture of Farmland in a Continental River Basin in China
Water 2019, 11(10), 1974; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11101974 - 22 Sep 2019
Abstract
The reduction of grain production caused by drought is one of the most serious problems caused by natural disasters. The relative soil moisture of farmland is the most important monitoring indicator for agricultural drought. This study investigated the relative soil moisture of farmland [...] Read more.
The reduction of grain production caused by drought is one of the most serious problems caused by natural disasters. The relative soil moisture of farmland is the most important monitoring indicator for agricultural drought. This study investigated the relative soil moisture of farmland data from 38 agrometeorological stations in a continental river basin area in China from 1992 to 2012. Spatial and temporal variations of the relative soil moisture of farmland were studied using geostatistical analysis. The results show that, from 1992 to 2012, the average annual relative soil moisture of farmland in the continental river basin ranged from 62.5 to 86.1%, and the relative soil moisture of farmland was high in the marginal areas of basins and low in the central areas of basins and plateau areas. The relative soil moisture of farmland was high in the Tarim Basin and the Hexi Corridor, which are located in the northern Tianshan Mountains and the southern and northern Qilian Mountains, and was low from the northern Altun Mountains to the south of Lop Nor, the Turpan Depression, and the Tarbagatai Mountains. From 1992 to 2012, the annual average relative soil moisture of farmland in the continental river basins showed an increasing trend, with a growth rate of 0.57% yr−1. The variation tendency of the relative soil moisture of farmland was different in different river basins; the relative soil moisture showed a decreasing trend in the Mongolian Plateau and an increasing trend in other basin areas. The relative soil moisture of farmland increased in summer, spring, and winter, and decreased in autumn. The change in relative soil moisture of farmland was due to a combination of climatic factors, such as precipitation and temperature, as well as topography and glacial meltwater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Changes in Drought Frequency and Severity)
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Open AccessArticle
Trends in Drought over the Northeast United States
Water 2019, 11(9), 1834; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091834 - 04 Sep 2019
Abstract
The Northeast United States is a generally wet region that has had substantial increases in mean precipitation over the past decades, but also experiences damaging droughts. We evaluated drought frequency, intensity, and duration trends in the region over the period 1901–2015. We used [...] Read more.
The Northeast United States is a generally wet region that has had substantial increases in mean precipitation over the past decades, but also experiences damaging droughts. We evaluated drought frequency, intensity, and duration trends in the region over the period 1901–2015. We used a dataset of Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), a measure of water balance based on meteorology that is computed at multiple timescales. It was found that the frequency of droughts decreased over this period, but their average intensity and duration did not show consistent changes. There was an increase in mean SPEI, indicating mostly wetter conditions, but also in an increase in SPEI variance, which kept the likelihood of extremely dry conditions from decreasing as much as would be expected from the wetter mean state. The changes in the SPEI mean and variance, as well as the decrease in drought frequency, were most pronounced for longer timescales. These results are consistent with the paradigm of hydrologic intensification under global warming, where both wet and dry extremes may increase in severity alongside changes in mean precipitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Changes in Drought Frequency and Severity)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Ecological Water Conveyance on the Hydrochemistry of a Terminal Lake in an Inland River: A Case Study of Qingtu Lake in the Shiyang River Basin
Water 2019, 11(8), 1673; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081673 - 13 Aug 2019
Abstract
Along with the growth of the population and economic and social development, water consumption in the upper-middle reaches of inland rivers is increasing, which has resulted in long-term cutout in the lower reaches of the river, shrinkage and drying up of the wetlands [...] Read more.
Along with the growth of the population and economic and social development, water consumption in the upper-middle reaches of inland rivers is increasing, which has resulted in long-term cutout in the lower reaches of the river, shrinkage and drying up of the wetlands around the terminal lakes, and has caused a series of ecological problems at the same time. In order to protect the fragile ecological environment, comprehensive harnessing projects have been carried out in many inland river basins in China, in which adopting ecological water conveyance to rehabilitate degraded terminal lakes and wetlands is an important means. From June 2014 to October 2017, the water in the upper-middle reaches of the Shiyang River Basin and the lake water of the terminal lake after ecological water conveyance was sampled. The effects of ecological water conveyance on the characteristics of surface water and groundwater were analyzed using, for example, the Piper triangle diagram, Gibbs boomerang envelope model, and mixing diagram. After ecological water conveyance, the ion concentration of water in Qingtu Lake was higher overall, and ion concentration of water in the unstable catchment was higher than that of the stable catchment. The time variation was characterized as high in the summer half year and low in the winter half year. The water of Qingtu Lake is of high and large salinity, and its hydrochemical type is Na–SO4 (Cl), which is obviously different from the water in the middle-upper reaches of the Shiyang River Basin. The effects of silicate weathering and evaporation crystallization are the main factors leading to the high ion concentration in the water of Qingtu Lake. Ecological water conveyance and the strong evaporation of arid areas have intensified the salinization of water and soils in Qingtu Lake. Meanwhile, implementing the ecological water conveyance policy in the terminal lake has also led to shortage of water resources for agricultural irrigation in the middle reaches of the Shiyang River Basin. The serial negative ecological effects of the ecological water conveyance should be emphasized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Changes in Drought Frequency and Severity)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Climate Change and Land-Use on the Propagation from Meteorological Drought to Hydrological Drought in the Eastern Qilian Mountains
Water 2019, 11(8), 1602; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081602 - 02 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
As one of the most destructive and costly natural disasters, drought has far-reaching negative effects on agriculture, water resources, the environment, and human life. Scientific understanding of propagation from meteorological to hydrological drought is of great significance for accurate forecasting of hydrological drought [...] Read more.
As one of the most destructive and costly natural disasters, drought has far-reaching negative effects on agriculture, water resources, the environment, and human life. Scientific understanding of propagation from meteorological to hydrological drought is of great significance for accurate forecasting of hydrological drought and preventing and mitigating drought disasters. The objective of this study is to analyze the spatio-temporal variational characteristics of propagation from meteorological drought to hydrological drought and the associated driving mechanisms in the eastern Qilian Mountains using the standard precipitation index (SPI), standardized runoff index (SRI), and drought propagation intensity index (DPI). The results show that there has been meteorological humidification and hydrological aridification in the upper reaches of the Shiyang River Basin over the last 56 years; especially in the 2000s, the intensity of hydrological drought was the strongest and the intensity of meteorological drought was the weakest, indicating the propagation intensity of meteorological drought to hydrological drought was extremely strong during this period. The changes of meteorological and hydrological dry–wet are different, both on seasonal and monthly scales. The meteorological dry–wet is shown to have had a significant effect both on the current and month-ahead hydrological dry–wet, where the one-month lag effect was most obvious. The relationship between meteorological and hydrological droughts also vary in space: Hydrological aridification in the Huangyang River, and the rivers east of it, was greater than that in the western tributaries. The drought propagation intensities from west to east showed a decreasing trend, excluding the Huangyang River. Climate and land-use changes are the main factors affecting the propagation from meteorological drought to hydrological drought. When the natural vegetation area accounted for between 76.3–78%, the cultivated land area between 0.55–3.6% and the construction area between 0.08–0.22% were a peer-to-peer propagation process from meteorological drought to hydrological drought in the upper reaches of the Shiyang River. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Changes in Drought Frequency and Severity)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Global Drought HAS NOT Intensified and Expanded during 40-year (1980-2019) Strong Climate Warming

Felix Kogan, Wei Guo and Wenze Yang

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Services

Abstract: Following the 2014 report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Earth surface (at 2 m high, further indicated as Earth only) climate has been warming up since the mid-18th  century. From the late 1970s, Earth warmed up intensively, leading to unusual environmental, economic and social events. Climate publications have indicated that from the second half of 19th century, intensive Earth warming has speeded up ice melting and sea level rise, increased water shortage and drought intensity, deteriorated agricultural system and produced other changes. The experts from the United Nations are warning that continuation of climate warming would strongly intensify and expand droughts, leading to a reduction of crop production, especially in developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America, further deteriorating food security and intensifying poor population’s malnutrition and hunger. Since climate warming is continuing, it is important to estimate long-term interaction between global warming and high-resolution drought tendencies, since drought intensification and expansion would strongly deteriorate global food security. This paper develops and investigates satellite-derived 40-year high-resolution drought trends, during the period of intensive Earth warming. Specifically, the paper (a) derives global and regional droughts from NOAA operational satellites (b) analyzes dynamics of drought area and intensity and derives statistical trend, (c) determines if drought intensified and expanded following strong global warming, and (d) predicts anticipated food security. Important that (1) the new satellite-based Vegetation Health (VH) method was used for drought detection and evaluation of intensity and area from vegetation’s thermal-moisture conditions, (2) assessments were done for the entire world and the main grain countries, (3) VH data had 1, 4 and 16 km2 areal and one-week temporal resolution during 1980-2019 and were processed comprehensively. The results indicated that global, hemispheric and the main grain countries’ (China, USA and India) drought trends remained generally stable, while global temperature anomaly has strongly increased between 1980 and 2018. Since drought has not intensified and expanded during the investigated 40 years, while global mean surface temperature anomaly increased almost 1°C, food security in the next few years would remained at the level of the most recent decade. 

 

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