Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Multi-Scale, Multi-Season, Multi-Indicator Evaluation of Agricultural Drought Trends in Ethiopia -Implications to Dryland Agriculture and Food Security

Version 1 : Received: 1 August 2019 / Approved: 5 August 2019 / Online: 5 August 2019 (07:58:33 CEST)

How to cite: Temam, D.; Uddameri, V.; Mohammadi, G.; Hernandez, E.; Ekwaro-Osire, S. Multi-Scale, Multi-Season, Multi-Indicator Evaluation of Agricultural Drought Trends in Ethiopia -Implications to Dryland Agriculture and Food Security. Preprints 2019, 2019080054 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201908.0054.v1). Temam, D.; Uddameri, V.; Mohammadi, G.; Hernandez, E.; Ekwaro-Osire, S. Multi-Scale, Multi-Season, Multi-Indicator Evaluation of Agricultural Drought Trends in Ethiopia -Implications to Dryland Agriculture and Food Security. Preprints 2019, 2019080054 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201908.0054.v1).

Abstract

Ethiopian agriculture is not only affected by precipitation declines (meteorological droughts) but also soil dryness caused by temperature increases and associated long-term hydrological changes. Meteorological drought indicators (e.g., SPI), do not fully capture the water deficits in agricultural systems (i.e., agricultural droughts). An Ethiopia-wide assessment of meteorological and agricultural drought trends was carried out to characterize century-scale (1902 – 2016) changes in droughts. SPI and SPEI calculated using two-month accumulation and the Palmer Z-index were used for assessing intra-season drought trends. SPI and SPEI at six-month accumulations and PDSI were used to define full season droughts. Detrended variance corrected Mann-Kendall test was used for trend analysis during Bega (dry), Belg (short-rainy) and Meher (long-rainy) seasons. The SPEI-2 and PDSI were most aggressive in characterizing intra-season and seasonal-drought trends. There is on average 1% - 6% annual increase in dryness with the lower estimate based on precipitation declines and the upper end accounting for seasonal soil moisture dynamics. The area between 37.5° E – 42.5° E denotes a climate hot-spot. Precipitation declines in Belg along the Ethiopia-South-Sudan/Sudan border during Belg and along Eretria-Ethiopia border during Meher have the potential to exacerbate transboundary water conflicts and further threaten the food security of the region.

Subject Areas

SPI; SPEI; PDSI; Palmer Z-index; Ethiopia; food security; climate change; droughts; trend analysis; autocorrelation; droughts

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