Anthropogenic impacts on widespread global soil moisture (SM) drying in the root zone layer during 1948–2005 were evaluated based on the Global Land Data Assimilation System version 2 (GLDAS-2) and global climate models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 using trend analysis and optimal fingerprint methods. Both methods show agreement that natural forcing alone cannot drive significant SM drying. There is a high probability (≥90%) that the anthropogenic climate change signal is detectable in global SM drying. Specifically, anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing can lead to global SM drying by 2.1 × 10−3 m3/m3, which is comparable to the drying trend seen in Global Land Data Assimilation System version 2 (2.4 × 10−3 m3/m3) over the past 58 years. Global SM drying is expected to continue in the future, given continuous greenhouse gas emissions.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
- human activities
- soil moisture