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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-383
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-383
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  28 Jul 2020

28 Jul 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

A standardized index for assessing sub-monthly compound dry and hot conditions

Jun Li1, Zhaoli Wang1,2, Xushu Wu1,2, Jakob Zscheischler3,4, Shenglian Guo5, and Xiaohong Chen6 Jun Li et al.
  • 1School of Civil Engineering and Transportation, State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Building Science, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510641, China
  • 2Guangdong Engineering Technology Research Center of Safety and Greenization for Water Conservancy Project, Guangzhou 510641, China
  • 3Climate and Environmental Physics, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
  • 4Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 5State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
  • 6Center for Water Resource and Environment, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China

Abstract. Compound dry and hot conditions regularly lead to large impacts on natural ecosystems and human society across the world. While a suite of indices exists for the assessments of droughts and heatwaves, respectively, so far no index has been developed to incorporate the joint variability of dry and hot conditions at sub-monthly scale. Here, we introduce a daily-scale index for measuring the intensity of compound dry and hot conditions, i.e. the standardized compound drought and heat index (SCDHI). The SCDHI is computed from a daily drought index (the standardized antecedent precipitation evapotranspiration index (SAPEI)) and the Standardized Temperature Index (STI) using a joint probability distribution method. We compare the SCDHI to real-world compound dry and hot events and compare its evolution against observed vegetation impacts in China. SCDHI can not only monitor the long-term (> one month) compound dry and hot event, but also capture such events at sub-monthly scale and, for instance, reflect the impact of such events on vegetation activity. Overall, southern China suffered compound dry and hot events most frequently. Here, compound events generally persisted for 25–35 days in China. The frequency, duration, severity, and intensity of compound events will intensify throughout China in future in response to anthropogenic climate change. The frequency will increase by about 1–3 times, while duration and severity in most of China will increase by 50 % in future, independent of the emission scenario. The SCDHI provides new tool to quantify the characteristics of compound dry and hot events, and offers an effective way for timely monitoring compound event initiation, development, and decay, which are important information for decision-makers and stakeholders to issue early and timely warnings.

Jun Li et al.

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Short summary
We introduce a daily-scale index, termed as the standardized compound drought and heat index (SCDHI), to measure the intensity of compound dry and hot conditions. SCDHI can not only monitor the long-term compound dry and hot events, but also capture such events at sub-monthly scale and reflect the related vegetation activity impacts. The index can provide a new tool to quantify sub-monthly characteristics of compound dry and hot events, which are vital to release early and timely warnings.
We introduce a daily-scale index, termed as the standardized compound drought and heat index...
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