Anticipating and mitigating projected climate-driven increases in extreme drought in Scotland, 2021-2040.

Published online
09 Sep 2022
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Kirkpatrick Baird, F. & Stubbs Partridge, J. & Spray, D.
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Scotland & UK


This study therefore explores the likelihood of changes to extreme drought risk in Scotland in the near future, and considers potential impacts on wetland functions. Using modelled temperature and precipitation data from the UK Climate Projections 2018 (UKCP18) and the drought index Standardised Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), changes in extreme drought were calculated for the near future (2021-2040) in comparison to a baseline period (1981-2001). These changes were then mapped to highlight areas and seasons with the greatest projected change, enabling identification of 'hotspot' areas that may be at most risk. These results can be used to direct mitigation and management actions to these areas, enabling pre-emption of drought damage and facilitating improved resilience to extreme weather events. NatureScot, and others in the sector, can therefore utilise this work to enable more effective and efficient use of resources, and contribute towards the wider goals of addressing the climate and biodiversity emergencies.

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