Drying in the low-latitude Atlantic Ocean contributed to terrestrial water storage depletion across Eurasia. Academic Article uri icon


  • Eurasia, home to ~70% of global population, is characterized by (semi-)arid climate. Water scarcity in the mid-latitude Eurasia (MLE) has been exacerbated by a consistent decline in terrestrial water storage (TWS), attributed primarily to human activities. However, the atmospheric mechanisms behind such TWS decline remain unclear. Here, we investigate teleconnections between drying in low-latitude North Atlantic Ocean (LNATO) and TWS depletions across MLE. We elucidate mechanistic linkages and detecte high correlations between decreased TWS in MLE and the decreased precipitation-minus-evapotranspiration (PME) in LNATO. TWS in MLE declines by ~257% during 2003-2017 due to northeastward propagation of PME deficit following two distinct seasonal landfalling routes during January-May and June-January. The same mechanism reduces TWS during 2031-2050 by ~107% and ~447% under scenarios SSP245 and SSP585, respectively. Our findings highlight the risk of increased future water scarcity across MLE caused by large-scale climatic drivers, compounding the impacts of human activities.

published proceedings

  • Nat Commun

author list (cited authors)

  • Shen, Z., Zhang, Q., Singh, V. P., Pokhrel, Y., Li, J., Xu, C., & Wu, W.

complete list of authors

  • Shen, Zexi||Zhang, Qiang||Singh, Vijay P||Pokhrel, Yadu||Li, Jianping||Xu, Chong-Yu||Wu, Wenhuan

publication date

  • April 2022