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Data from: Exacerbation of the 2013–2016 Pan-Caribbean Drought by Anthropogenic Warming

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Abstract

The Caribbean islands are expected to see more frequent and severe droughts from reduced precipitation and increased evaporative demand due to anthropogenic climate change. Between 2013 and 2016, the Caribbean experienced a widespread drought due in part to El Niño in 2015-2016, but it is unknown whether its severity was exacerbated by anthropogenic warming. This work examines the role of recent warming on this drought, using a recently-developed high-resolution self-calibrating Palmer Drought Severity Index dataset. The resulting analysis suggest that anthropogenic warming accounted for ~15–17% of the drought’s severity, and ~7% of its spatial extent. These findings strongly suggest that climate model projected anthropogenic drying in the Caribbean is already underway, with major implications for the more than 43 million people currently living in this region.

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Following the CC-BY License, these datasets can be freely used by the scientific community, and should be cited as follows: Herrera et al. (2018). Data from: Exacerbation of the 2013–2016 Pan-Caribbean drought by anthropogenic warming [Dataset]. Cornell University Libarary eCommons Repository. https://doi.org/10.7298/X4571961

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We thank the Advanced Study Program (ASP) of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) for partially supporting this research through the ASP Graduate Visitor Program. This material is partially supported by a National Science Foundation (NSF) EaSM2 Grant AGS-1243125, and NSF Grant AGS-1602564. J. T. F. and S. C. participation in this work is supported through NSF Grant AGS-1243107, NASA Award Number NNH11ZDA001N, and DOE Award ID DE-SC0012711. B.I.C. and A.P.W are supported by the NASA Modeling, Analysis, and Prediction Program, and A.P.W. is supported by the National Science Foundation grant AGS-1703029.

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2018-09-20

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Caribbean Islands; drought; anthropogenic warming

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Herrera et al. (2018). Exacerbation of the 2013–2016 Pan-Caribbean drought by anthropogenic warming. Geophys. Res. Lett. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL079408

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