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Publication Date
30 September 2022

Diminishing Seasonality of Subtropical Water Availability in a Warmer World Dominated by Soil Moisture-Atmosphere Feedbacks

Declines in seasonality of water availability.
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  • We show that ~20% of land experiences a diminished seasonal cycle of water availability, mostly over subtropical regions and the Amazon, using projections from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project.
  • We show that we demonstrate that 63% of the seasonality reduction is driven by seasonally varying soil moisture (SM) feedbacks on P–E.  
  • Global warming is expected to cause wet seasons to get wetter and dry seasons to get drier, which would have broad social and ecological implications.
  • Our results underscore the importance of soil moisture–atmosphere feedbacks for seasonal water availability changes in a warmer climate.

This analysis leverages both CMIP5 and CMIP6 simulation experiments to examine seasonal changes in surface water availability (precipitation minus evaporation, P–E).

Point of Contact
Trevor Keenan
University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)
Funding Program Area(s)