Global projections of changing risks of floods and droughts in a changing climate
Abstract Simulated daily discharge derived from a relatively high-resolution (approximately 1.1-degree) general circulation model was used to investigate future projections of extremes in river discharge under global warming. The frequency of floods was projected to increase over many regions, except those including North America and central to western Eurasia. The drought frequency was projected to increase globally, while regions such as northern high latitudes, eastern Australia, and eastern Eurasia showed a decrease or no significant changes. Changes in flood and drought are not explained simply by changes in annual precipitation, heavy precipitation, or differences between precipitation and evapotranspiration. Several regions were projected to have increases in both flood frequency and drought frequency. Such regions show a decrease in the number of precipitation days, but an increase in days with heavy rain. Several regions show shifts in the flood season from springtime snowmelt to the summer period of heavy precipitation.