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Changes in spatio-temporal distribution of AgMERRA-derived agro-climatic indices and agro-climatic zones for wheat crops in the northeast Iran

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Abstract

This study evaluates the potential of gridded AgMERRA (the Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications) to estimate aridity index (AI), growing degree days (GDD), and temperature seasonality (TS) for six land stations across northeast Iran. The researcher investigated the spatiotemporal variation of the AgMERRA-derived agro-climatic indices for the entire period 1981–2010 and three 10-year sub-periods for the 347 wheat harvested grid cells (0.25° × 0.25°) and their utility for agro-climate zoning in northeast Iran. Results indicated a good agreement between AgMERRA daily solar radiation, maximum and minimum temperatures, and annual total precipitation with corresponding land observations for the six studied sites. AgMERRA-derived evapotranspiration (ETo), AI, GDD, and TS also exhibited good agreement (R2 and d > 0.7) with the land station–derived indices for most of the locations. Annual analysis of the AI indicated a negative trend for all of the wheat harvested grid cells, but the decrease was significant (p < 0.05) only for 14.70% of grid cells, which were located in the southwest part of the studied region. The magnitude of the significant decreasing trends in annual AI was (−)0.0011 per year. The increase in aridity was due to the concurrent occurrences of positive ETo trends and negative precipitation trends. All of the wheat harvested grid cells showed a significant increasing trend (p < 0.05) for GDD at the rate of 24.10 °C d year−1. The TS series demonstrated an apparent increasing trend for 99.2% of wheat harvested grid cells; however, only 16.9% of them had the significant positive trend (p < 0.05) with the average rate of 0.023 °C year−1. The wheat harvested grid cells with increasing trend for TS were mainly distributed in the arid mountainous southern part of the study area. The 10 years sub-periods revealed that the best conditions in terms of most of the studied agro-climatic indices were found in sub-period 1981–1990 and the north Khorasan had better conditions in all three sub-periods. Based on AI, GDD, and TS, 13 major gridded agro-climatic zones were recognized in northeast Iran.

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Correspondence to Mohammad Bannayan.

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Yaghoubi, F., Bannayan, M. & Asadi, GA. Changes in spatio-temporal distribution of AgMERRA-derived agro-climatic indices and agro-climatic zones for wheat crops in the northeast Iran. Int J Biometeorol 66, 431–446 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-021-02156-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-021-02156-3

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