Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Aridity Trend in the Middle East and the Adjacent Areas

Version 1 : Received: 11 March 2020 / Approved: 13 March 2020 / Online: 13 March 2020 (03:10:51 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Sahour, H., Vazifedan, M. & Alshehri, F. Aridity trends in the Middle East and adjacent areas. Theor Appl Climatol (2020). Sahour, H., Vazifedan, M. & Alshehri, F. Aridity trends in the Middle East and adjacent areas. Theor Appl Climatol (2020).


Available water resources in the Middle East, as one of the most water-scarce regions of the world, have undergone extra pressure due to climatic change, population growth, and economic development during the past decades. The objective of this study is to detect the trends and quantify the changes in aridity with respect to precipitation and potential evapotranspiration in 20 countries of the Middle East and the adjacent area. A Pixel-wised trend analysis was conducted on precipitation, potential evapotranspiration, and aridity index for 71 years from 1948 to 2018. A nonparametric Mann-Kendall test was used over 14106 points in the study area to detect the trends at monthly and annual time scales. Results showed statistically significant (|Z| >1.96) upward trends in aridity (a downward trend in aridity index) up to 96 percent from December through September in most parts of the region. Aridity in October and November had a downward tendency in most parts of the study area. At the annual time scale, 62.5 percent of the statistically significant trends in aridity were found to be upward (up to 96 percent increase in aridity) due to the combined effects of the decrease in precipitation and the increase in potential evapotranspiration and 37.5 percent of the detected trends were downward (up to 61 percent decrease in aridity). The highest and the lowest trends in aridity were found in the north of Sudan (96 percent increase in aridity) and Eastern Arabia (61 percent decrease in aridity), respectively.


climate change; aridity; precipitation; Mann-Kendall; Middle East


Environmental and Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science and Meteorology

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