Changes in the natural climate is a major concern for food security across the world, including Bangladesh. This paper presents results from an analysis on quantitative assessment of changes in rainfall and potential evapotranspiration (PET) in the northwest region of Bangladesh, which is a major agricultural hub in the country. The study was conducted using results from 28 global climate models (GCMs), based on IPCC’s 5th assessment report (AR5) for two emission scenarios. Projections were made over the period of 2045 to 2075 for 16 administrative districts in the study area, and the changes were estimated at annual, seasonal and monthly time scale. More projections result in an increase in rainfall than decrease, while almost all projections show an increase in PET. Although annual rainfall is generally projected to increase, some projections show a decrease in some months, especially in December and January. Across the region, the average change projected by the 28 GCMs for the moderate emission was an increase of 235 mm (12.4%) and 44 mm (3.4%) for rainfall and PET, respectively. Increases in rainfall and PET are slightly higher (0.6% and 0.2%, respectively) under high emission scenarios. Increases in both rainfall and PET were projected for two major cropping seasons, Kharif (May-Oct) and Rabi (Nov-Apr). Projections of rainfall show increase in the range of 160 to 250 mm (with an average of 200 mm) during the Kharif season. Although an increase is projected in the Rabi season, the amount is very small (~10mm). It is important to note that rainfall increases mostly in the Kharif season, but PET increases for both Kharif and Rabi seasons. Contrary to rainfall, increase in PET is higher during Rabi season. This information is crucial for better adaptation under increased water demand for agricultural and domestic use.
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