20 May 2022
20 May 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

A re-examination of the dry gets drier and wet gets wetter paradigm over global land: insight from terrestrial water storage changes

Jinghua Xiong1, Shenglian Guo1, Abhishek2, Jie Chen1, and Jiabo Yin1 Jinghua Xiong et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan, 430072, China
  • 2School of Environment and Society, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokohama 226-8503, Japan

Abstract. The “dry gets drier and wet gets wetter” (DDWW) paradigm has been widely used to summarise the expected trends of the global hydrologic cycle under climate change. However, the paradigm is challenged over land due to the choice of different metrics and datasets used and is still unexplored from the perspective of terrestrial water storage anomaly (TWSA). Considering the essential role of TWSA in wetting and drying of the land system, here we built upon a large ensemble of TWSA datasets, including satellite-based products, global hydrological models, land surface models, and global climate models to evaluate the DDWW hypothesis during the historical (1985–2014) and future (2071–2100) periods under various scenarios with a 0.05 significance level. We find that 28.1 % of global land confirms the DDWW paradigm, while 23.3 % of the area shows the opposite pattern during the historical period. In the future, the DDWW paradigm is still challenged with the percentage supporting the pattern lower than 20 %, and both the DDWW-validated and DDWW-opposed proportion increase along with the intensification of emission scenarios. The different choices of data sources and varying significance levels (0.01–0.1) have subtle influences on the evaluation results of the DDWW paradigm. Our findings will provide insights and implications for global wetting and drying trends from the perspective of TWSA under climate change.

Jinghua Xiong et al.

Status: open (until 15 Jul 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2022-190', Anonymous Referee #1, 18 Jun 2022 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2022-190', Yannis Markonis, 22 Jun 2022 reply
  • RC3: 'Comment on hess-2022-190', Anonymous Referee #3, 22 Jun 2022 reply

Jinghua Xiong et al.

Jinghua Xiong et al.


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Short summary
Although the “dry gets drier and wet gets wetter” (DDWW) paradigm is widely used to summarise the trends in wetting and drying globally, we show that 28.1 % of global land agrees with the paradigm, while 23.3 % shows the opposite pattern during the period 1985–2014 from the perspective of terrestrial water storage change. Similar percentages are discovered under different scenarios during the future period. Our findings will benefit the understanding of hydrological responses under climate change.