31 Jul 2023
 | 31 Jul 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Future water storage changes over the Mediterranean, Middle East, and North Africa in response to global warming and stratospheric aerosol intervention

Abolfazl Rezaei, Khalil Karami, Simone Tilmes, and John C. Moore

Abstract. Water storage plays a profound role in the lives of people across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as it is the most water stressed region worldwide. The lands around the Caspian and Mediterranean Seas are simulated to be very sensitive to future climate warming. Available water capacity depends on hydroclimate variables such as temperature and precipitation that will depend on socioeconomic pathways and changes in climate. This work explores changes in both the mean and extreme terrestrial water storage (TWS) under an unmitigated greenhouse gas (GHG) scenario (SSP5-8.5) and stratospheric aerosol intervention (SAI) designed to offset GHG-induced warming above 1.5 °C and compares both with historical period simulations. Both mean and extreme TWS are projected to significantly decrease under SSP5-8.5 over the domain, except for the Arabian Peninsula, particularly in the wetter lands around the Caspian and Mediterranean Seas. Relative to global warming, SAI partially ameliorates the decreased mean TWS in the wet regions while it has no significant effect on the increased TWS in drier lands. In the entire domain studied, the mean TWS is larger under SAI than pure greenhouse gas forcing, mainly due to the significant cooling, and in turn, a substantial decrease of evapotranspiration under SAI relative to SSP5-8.5. Changes in extreme water storage excursions under global warming are reduced by SAI. Extreme TWS under both future climate scenarios are larger than throughout the historical period across Iran, Iraq, and the Arabian Peninsula, but the response of the more continental eastern North Africa hyper-arid climate is different from the neighboring dry lands.

Abolfazl Rezaei et al.

Status: open (until 04 Oct 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-1654', Anonymous Referee #1, 30 Aug 2023 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-1654', Anonymous Referee #2, 24 Sep 2023 reply

Abolfazl Rezaei et al.

Abolfazl Rezaei et al.


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Short summary
Water storage (WS) plays a profound role in the lives of people in the Middle East and North Africa and Mediterranean climate “hot spots”. Simulated is WS changed by greenhouse gas (GHG) warming with and without stratospheric aerosol intervention (SAI). WS significantly increases in the Arabian Peninsula and decreases around Mediterranean under GHG. While SAI partially ameliorates the GHG impacts, Projected WS increases in dry regions and decreases in wet areas relative to the present climate.