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Recent trends in atmospheric evaporative demand in Southwest Iran: implications for change in drought severity

Abstract

This study evaluates trends in climatic variables, atmospheric evaporative demand (AED) and meteorological drought between 1988 and 2018 over the southwest of Iran, where the Karkheh Basin is located. For this purpose, we used monthly time series of meteorological variables (precipitation, air temperature, wind speed and sunshine duration). The AED was estimated by the FAO-56 Penman-Monteith equation and drought severity by the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI). There have been significant changes in the climate over the study domain, including a large increase in air temperature and wind speed and a decrease in relative humidity, which have driven a positive trend in the AED. The SPEI for the region has fallen, with the decrease being larger than the magnitude of change observed with the SPI. This suggests an increase in drought severity mostly associated with the rise in AED. The implications for water availability and climate change processes in the region are discussed.

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Funding

This paper was supported by the research projects PCIN-2015-220 and CGL2017-82216-R financed by the Spanish Commission of Science and Technology and FEDER, CROSSDRO financed by the AXIS (Assessment of Cross(X)—sectorial climate Impacts and pathways for Sustainable transformation) JPI-Climate co-funded call of the European Commission and INDECIS, which is part of ERA4CS, an ERA-NET initiated by JPI Climate, and funded by FORMAS (SE), DLR (DE), BMWFW (AT), IFD (DK), MINECO (ES), ANR (FR) with co-funding by the European Union (Grant 690462). Financed by the Spanish Commission of Science and Technology and FEDER, and INDECIS, which is part of ERA4CS, an ERA-NET initiated by JPI Climate, and funded by FORMAS (SE), DLR (DE), BMWFW (AT), IFD (DK), MINECO (ES), ANR (FR) with co-funding by the European Union (Grant 690462).

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Correspondence to Mahshid Karimi.

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Karimi, M., Vicente-Serrano, S.M., Reig, F. et al. Recent trends in atmospheric evaporative demand in Southwest Iran: implications for change in drought severity. Theor Appl Climatol 142, 945–958 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-020-03349-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-020-03349-3

Keywords

  • Drought
  • SPI
  • SPEI
  • FAO-56 Penman-Monteith
  • Karkheh basin
  • Iran