Risks for the global freshwater system at 1.5 °C and 2 °C global warming

To support implementation of the Paris Agreement, the new HAPPI ensemble of 20 bias-corrected simulations of four climate models was used to drive two global hydrological models in worlds approximately 1.5 °C and 2 °C warmer than pre-industrial. Seven hydrological hazard indicators were analysed characterizing freshwater-related hazards for humans, freshwater biota and vegetation. The findings show that areas with either significantly wetter or drier conditions are smaller in the 1.5 °C world for all but one indicator. The incremental impact between 1.5 °C and 2 °C on high flows would be felt most by low income and lower middle income countries, the effect on soil moisture and low flows most by high income countries.

Date Published
2018, April

Petra Döll, Tim Trautmann, Dieter Gerten, Hannes Müller Schmied, Sebastian Ostberg, Fahad Saaed, Carl-Friedrich Schleussner

Environmental Research Letters
13 (4) 044038, DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aab792