10B.6 How are Snow Droughts and Their Impacts Changing across the World? (Invited Presentation)

Wednesday, 15 January 2020: 11:45 AM
253A (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Laurie S. Huning, Univ. of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA; and A. AghaKouchak

Snow shapes a variety of local to global scale processes that influence water availability, agricultural practices, and climate. Nevertheless, characterizing global snow droughts (or snow water equivalent deficits), their impacts, and how they are changing both spatially and temporally remains unexplored. We present the first global snow drought assessment by quantifying changes in the distribution of drought duration and intensity from 1980-2018. We show that the western U.S. experienced more frequent, longer, and more intense droughts over the past two decades. The total drought duration across Eastern Russia, Europe, and the western U.S. lengthened from ~2 to 27% over this period, while the Hindu Kush and Central Asia, the Greater Himalayan region, and areas in South America exhibited a shift toward wetter conditions. Since shifts in the duration, likelihood, and intensity of droughts can alter a region’s food and water security, agriculture, hydropower, and socioeconomics, an in-depth characterization of drought impacts is warranted. Thus, we also investigate the impacts of snow droughts across different scales and assess their propagation to areas beyond the geographic location of the drought.
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