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Mathew Barlow, Benjamin Zaitchik, Shlomit Paz, Emily Black, Jason Evans, and Andrew Hoell

1. Introduction The Middle East and southwest Asia are a highly water-stressed region with reduced societal resilience resulting from economic and political challenges. As a result, severe drought in the region can have complex impacts, ranging beyond direct impacts on crops and livestock to an array of indirect impacts associated with sanitation, nutrition, loss of livelihood, displaced populations, and international disputes. As an example, the catastrophic 1999–2001 drought resulted in

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Siegfried D. Schubert, Ronald E. Stewart, Hailan Wang, Mathew Barlow, Ernesto H. Berbery, Wenju Cai, Martin P. Hoerling, Krishna K. Kanikicharla, Randal D. Koster, Bradfield Lyon, Annarita Mariotti, Carlos R. Mechoso, Omar V. Müller, Belen Rodriguez-Fonseca, Richard Seager, Sonia I. Seneviratne, Lixia Zhang, and Tianjun Zhou

link between drought and remote SST anomalies is complicated by the fact that there are different definitions of drought reflecting a wide range of societal (e.g., health, water quality, and political), economic (e.g., agriculture, water supply, transportation, and recreation), and ecosystem (e.g., fish, wildlife, wetlands, biodiversity, and forest fires) impacts. 2 All of these definitions are important. Nevertheless, we focus here on the primary meteorological quantity associated with dry

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Siegfried D. Schubert, Hailan Wang, Randal D. Koster, Max J. Suarez, and Pavel Ya. Groisman

heat waves that have occurred since the late nineteenth century. Droughts continue to have major impacts on northern Eurasian agriculture. As noted in Golubev and Dronin (2004) , “Another notable feature of Russian agriculture are the rather large fluctuations in year-to-year yield, which are considerably higher than in any other major grain producing country in the world... These high fluctuations in total cereal production were undoubtedly the result of irregular precipitation.” In fact, many of

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