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Trends of Climate Change and Variability in Three Agro-Ecological Settings in Central Ethiopia: Contrasts of Meteorological Data and Farmers’ Perceptions

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College of Development Studies, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 1176 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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Athena Institute of Research, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Centre for International Cooperation, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Centre for World Food Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Climate 2020, 8(11), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8110121
Received: 31 August 2020 / Revised: 5 October 2020 / Accepted: 19 October 2020 / Published: 22 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Food Insecurity)
Using gridded daily temperature and rainfall data covering 30 years (1988–2017), this study investigates trends in rainfall, temperature, and extreme events in three agro-ecological settings in central Ethiopia. The Mann Kendall test and Sen’s slope estimator were used to examine the trends and slope of changes in climate indices. The profile of farmers whose perception converges with or diverges from meteorological data was characterized using polling. The average annual temperature has increased by 0.4 and 0.3 °C per decade in the lowland and midland areas, respectively. Average annual rainfall has increased only in the midland areas by 178 mm per decade. Farmers’ perception of increasing temperature fairly aligns with meteorological data. However, there is a noticeable difference between farmers’ perception of rainfall and meteorological data. The perception of farmers with poor economic status, access to media, and higher social capital aligns with measured trends. Conversely, the perception of economically better-off and uneducated farmers diverges from meteorological data. Accurate perception is constrained by the failure of the traditional forecast methods to describe complex weather variabilities and lack of access to down-scaled weather information. The findings highlight the importance of availing specific and agro-ecologically relevant weather forecasts to overcome perceptual problems and to support effective adaptation. View Full-Text
Keywords: temperature; rainfall; drought; weather; livelihood temperature; rainfall; drought; weather; livelihood
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Etana, D.; Snelder, D.J.R.M.; van Wesenbeeck, C.F.A.; de Cock Buning, T. Trends of Climate Change and Variability in Three Agro-Ecological Settings in Central Ethiopia: Contrasts of Meteorological Data and Farmers’ Perceptions. Climate 2020, 8, 121.

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