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Title: A Multivariate Flash Drought Indicator for Identifying Global Hotspots and Associated Climate Controls

The significant impact of flash droughts (FDs) on society can vary based on a combination of FD characteristics (event counts, mean severity, and rate of intensification), which is largely unexplored. We employed root‐zone soil‐moisture for 1980–2018 to calculate the FD characteristics and integrated them to formulate a novel multivariate FD indicator for mapping the global FD hotspot regions. The potential influence of climate characteristics (i.e., anomalies, aridity, and evaporative fractions) and land‐climate feedbacks on the evolution of multivariate FD indicator is investigated. Our results indicate that precipitation is the primary driver of FD evolution, while the effect of temperature, vapor pressure deficit, and land‐climate interaction varies across the climate divisions after the onset of the events. The magnitude of multivariate FD indicator decreases with increased climate aridity, and it is significant in the global humid regimes, underscoring the importance of water and energy supply as limiting factors regulating FD‐risk.

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DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
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Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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