Drought disaster risks under CMIP5 RCP scenarios in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China

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The Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of China (Ningxia), one of main agriculture areas in northwest China, has been severely affected by drought. Based on observed meteorological data, outputs of 20 global climate models and drought disaster data, future climate change and relevant drought hazard in the twenty-first century were projected in Ningxia, with the scenarios of RCP2.6 and RCP4.5; the risks of people, crop, and agriculture economy to drought disasters are quantitatively assessed, with the application of physical vulnerability curve models, probability distribution functions and Monte Carlo simulation method. It is found that the climate in Ningxia is likely to have a warming and wetting tendency in the twenty-first century. The extent of drought hazard is likely to increase. The increase rate is greater under RCP4.5 than that under RCP2.6. In general, the risks of population, crop, and agriculture to drought disasters are likely to increase in Ningxia in the twenty-first century. The magnitude of increase is likely to reach the greatest in the immediate term (2016–2035), followed by the increase in the medium term (2046–2065), and the long term (2081–2100). In comparison with RCP2.6, the drought disaster risks under the scenario of RCP4.5 are likely to increase further in three periods of the twenty-first century. The findings of this work have potential to provide data support for drought disaster risk management and support risk-based decision-making.

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This work was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) (No. 2012CB955404) and the Key International Research Project of Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. 131551KYSB20160002). The authors would like to thank Professor Xingguo Yang for providing the meteorological data, and the Ningxia Civil Affairs Department for providing the drought disaster data. The authors also thank Dr. Shijin Wang, Dr. Shengxia Wang, and Dr. Xiaojiao Liu from Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Man Li from Shanxi Normal University, for collecting data. A special thank is given to Prof. Chi-Hsiang Wang from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) for his assistance in constructions of physical vulnerability curves, Mr. Yong Bing Khoo from the CSIRO and Dr. Yinping Long from Chengdu University of Information Technology for their assistance in data processing.

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Tan, C., Yang, J., Wang, X. et al. Drought disaster risks under CMIP5 RCP scenarios in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China. Nat Hazards (2020).

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  • Drought
  • Disaster risk
  • Global climate model (GCM)
  • Ningxia