Research press release


Nature Climate Change

Developing countries to bear brunt of expanding drylands



今回、Jianping Huangたちは、過去の観測データ(1948~2005年)と全球気候モデルのシミュレーションデータを比較し、気候モデルで地球乾燥化の傾向が過小評価されていることを明らかにした。次にHuangたちは、この観測データを用いて、モデルによる予測を補正し、中排出シナリオと高排出シナリオにおける乾燥地の占有割合を調べた。高排出シナリオでは、2100年に乾燥地の面積が(基準となる1961~1990年の乾燥地面積と比べて)23%増加し、地球の全陸地面積の56%を占めるようになることが明らかになり、乾燥地の拡大の78%が開発途上国で起こるとされた。


Drylands could cover more than half of the global land surface by 2100 if global emissions continue to rise, reports a paper published online in Nature Climate Change. The study suggests that this will have a disproportionate effect on developing countries, where over three-quarters of the dryland expansion is projected to occur, and could exacerbate poverty levels and land degradation.

Drylands are regions where precipitation is offset by evaporation from surfaces and plant leaves. They currently cover approximately 40% of global land surface and are expected to increase in size due to climate change and human activities, such as urbanization and population growth.

Jianping Huang and colleagues compare historical observational data (1948-2005) to global climate model simulation data and find that the climate models underestimate global drying trends. They then use the observational data to correct the model projections and investigate change in dryland coverage under moderate and high emissions scenarios. Under a high emissions scenario, the authors find the land surface area that drylands cover will increase by 23% by 2100 (compared to baseline dryland coverage from 1961-1990), with 56% of global land surface covered. They find that 78% of this expansion will occur in developing countries.

The authors observe greater warming trends over dryland regions than humid regions, and conclude that the combination of temperature and aridity increases with population growth in developing countries will amplify the risk of further dryland expansion.

doi: 10.1038/nclimate2837

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