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Title: Increase in Compound Drought and Heatwaves in a Warming World

Compound drought and heatwaves can cause significant damage to the environment, economy, and society. In this study, we quantify the spatio‐temporal changes in compound drought and heatwave (CDHW) events by integrating weekly self‐calibrated Palmer Drought Severity Index (sc_PDSI) and daily maximum temperatures during the period 1983 to 2016. Multiple data products are used to examine the robustness of sc_PDSI in the compound event analysis. The results consistently suggest significant increases in drought‐related heatwaves and affected global land area in recent (warmer) periods. Several regions across the globe witnessed rise in CDHW frequency (one to three events/year), duration (2–10 days/year), and severity. This increasing pattern is spatially asymmetric, and greater amplification is observed across the Northern hemisphere due to recent warming. Furthermore, the background aridity influences the spatiotemporal evolution of CDHW events. The results can be applied to minimize the impacts of extreme CDHWs in critical geographical regions.

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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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