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Open AccessArticle

Seasonal Drought Pattern Changes Due to Climate Variability: Case Study in Afghanistan

1
Department of Water and Environmental Engineering, School of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), 81310 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
2
Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Federal University Dutse, P.M.B 7156 Dutse, Nigeria
3
Department of Civil Engineering, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
4
Faculty of Water Resource Management, Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences, Balochistan 90150, Pakistan
5
Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Lulea University of Technology, 97187 Lulea, Sweden
6
Sustainable Developments in Civil Engineering Research Group, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
7
State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Nanjing Hydraulic Research Institute, Nanjing 210029, China
8
Research Center for Climate Change, Ministry of Water Resources, Nanjing 210029, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(5), 1096; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11051096
Received: 20 April 2019 / Revised: 16 May 2019 / Accepted: 23 May 2019 / Published: 25 May 2019
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Abstract

We assessed the changes in meteorological drought severity and drought return periods during cropping seasons in Afghanistan for the period of 1901 to 2010. The droughts in the country were analyzed using the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI). Global Precipitation Climatology Center rainfall and Climate Research Unit temperature data both at 0.5° resolutions were used for this purpose. Seasonal drought return periods were estimated using the values of the SPEI fitted with the best distribution function. Trends in climatic variables and SPEI were assessed using modified Mann–Kendal trend test, which has the ability to remove the influence of long-term persistence on trend significance. The study revealed increases in drought severity and frequency in Afghanistan over the study period. Temperature, which increased up to 0.14 °C/decade, was the major factor influencing the decreasing trend in the SPEI values in the northwest and southwest of the country during rice- and corn-growing seasons, whereas increasing temperature and decreasing rainfall were the cause of a decrease in SPEI during wheat-growing season. We concluded that temperature plays a more significant role in decreasing the SPEI values and, therefore, more severe droughts in the future are expected due to global warming. View Full-Text
Keywords: meteorological drought; standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index; climate variability; seasonal drought; drought return period meteorological drought; standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index; climate variability; seasonal drought; drought return period
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Qutbudin, I.; Shiru, M.S.; Sharafati, A.; Ahmed, K.; Al-Ansari, N.; Yaseen, Z.M.; Shahid, S.; Wang, X. Seasonal Drought Pattern Changes Due to Climate Variability: Case Study in Afghanistan. Water 2019, 11, 1096.

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