Historical evidence of climate change impact on drought outlook in river basins: analysis of annual maximum drought severities through daily SPI definitions


NATURAL HAZARDS, vol.110, no.2, pp.1389-1404, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 110 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11069-021-04995-0
  • Journal Name: NATURAL HAZARDS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, IBZ Online, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, Environment Index, Geobase, INSPEC, Metadex, PAIS International, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, DIALNET, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1389-1404
  • Keywords: Drought, Drought index, Drought severity, Daily SPI, Climate change
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


In the context of major outcomes of a steadily changing climate, extreme climatic conditions and the associated events in various forms of weather-related natural disasters, e.g. droughts, floods, and heat waves, are more frequently experienced on the global scale in recent years. In support of this argument, there are adequate numbers of explicit signals over such a persistent outlook, which is greatly illustrated by historical data and observations. This study, which is mainly oriented to investigating the drought behaviour in Thracian, Aegean and Mediterranean transects of Turkey's major river basins, is actually inspired by the foreseen potential of using annual maximum drought severity series (based on drought definition through the standardized precipitation index (SPI)) within a framework that resembles the use of flood discharge directly from flow measurements in a river basin. To this end, a series of spatial analyses were employed to identify different aspects of flood appearance in the study extent, including trend views on annual average drought severity series, shifts in the starting time of the annually most severe flood periods, and changes in spatial coverage views of average drought conditions under different drought severity categories. The framework of the analytical approaches depends greatly on validated international datasets and open-source computational algorithms. The results from the analyses that were conducted in two consecutive periods of 1958-1980 and 1981-2004 revealed that Turkey's western and southern river basin systems seemed to have experienced quite different behaviours between the two periods in terms of drought severity magnitudes, drought durations and annual occurrence times.