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Climate 2017, 5(2), 30; doi:10.3390/cli5020030

Assessment of Long-Term Spatio-Temporal Rainfall Variability over Ghana using Wavelet Analysis

1
Meteorology and Climate Science Unit, Department of Physics, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science andTechnology (KNUST), UPO, P. O. Box PMB Kumasi, Ghana
2
Earth System Physics, The Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), I - 34151 Trieste, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 December 2016 / Revised: 25 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017

Abstract

Rainfall variability has strong impact on food security, livelihood and socio-economic activities as farming in West Africa is mainly rain-fed. The annual, seasonal and decadal rainfall variability over Ghana has been studied and their periodicities analysed using wavelet analysis. A rainfall time series from 1901–2010 from the Global Precipitation Climatology Center (GPCC) was used in this analysis. It was observed that high mean annual rainfall totals ranging from 900–1900mm are recorded over the entire country. In addition, very high totals between 1500–1900mmare recorded at the South-Western part of the country whereas low totals (900–1200 mm) are recorded in the Savannah and East coast of the country. In general, a decreasing trend was observed for the annual rainfall over all the agro-ecological zones except for the coastal zone, where a slight increasing trend of 0.1600mm per year was seen. The seasonal trend analysis revealed a significant decreasing trend at 0.01 significance level in all the agro-ecological zones except for the Savannah during the DJF season indicating an intensification of the Harmattan. The Coastal zone recorded the lowest mean rainfall values for all seasons with the highest of about 150 mm in MAM. The Forest zone on the other hand recorded very high rainfall values for all seasons with the maximum of about 200 mm in JJA. The Transition zone, however, recorded almost quite stable rainfall amount for all seasons except for DJF. On the decadal time scale, below normal rainfall values were observed between the 1901–1920 and 1980–2010 periods for almost all the agro-ecological zones except for the Savannah which showed above normal rainfall values within the 1901–1940 period. Indicating that, the decreasing trend observed in recent years is not solely due to antropogenic factors but have a strong contribution from a natural climate variability. The wavelet analysis also revealed a strong annual periodicity over all the agro-ecological zones except for the Coastal and Forest zones where the annual periodicity was accompanied by 4–8 months signal. The results of both the 5 year moving average and the decadal anomaly confirm a significant decrease in rainfall amount. This will have negative consequences on agricultural practices, water resource management and food security. View Full-Text
Keywords: rainfall variability; validation; annual and seasonal; decadal; wavelet analysis rainfall variability; validation; annual and seasonal; decadal; wavelet analysis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Baidu, M.; Amekudzi, L.K.; Aryee, J.N.A.; Annor, T. Assessment of Long-Term Spatio-Temporal Rainfall Variability over Ghana using Wavelet Analysis. Climate 2017, 5, 30.

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