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Response of terrestrial aridity to global warming

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[The speaker is a Leverhulme Visiting Professor in DAMTP for the period March-August 2022. This seminar is one of two ‘Leverhulme Lectures’ that he will give during his stay here.]

The dryness of terrestrial climate can be measured in terms of an aridity index that is the ratio of annual precipitation to potential evapotranspiration. The United Nations Environment Programme defines drylands as the terrestrial areas with an aridity index of less than 0.65, which are further classified into hyper-arid, arid, semiarid, and dry sub-humid lands. In this talk I will present the response of terrestrial aridity and dryland areas to global warming in the framework of the UNEP aridity index. A mechanism that “warmer is more arid” will be discussed. The implications to geoengineering and droughts will also be discussed.

This talk is part of the Geophysical and Environmental Processes series.

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