Projected changes in meteorological drought over East Africa inferred from bias-adjusted CMIP6 models

Brian Ayugi, Zablon Weku Shilenje, Hassen Babaousmail, Kenny T.C. Lim Kam Sian, Richard Mumo, Victor Nnamdi Dike, Vedaste Iyakaremye, Abdelghani Chehbouni, Victor Ongoma

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The ongoing global warming has caused unprecedented changes in the climate system, leading to an increase in the intensity and frequency of weather and climate extremes. This study uses the sixth phase of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) data to investigate projected changes in drought events over East Africa (EA) under four Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) emission scenarios (SSP1-2.6, SSP2-4.5, SSP3-4.0, and SSP5-8.5). The CMIP6 data are bias-corrected using a quantile mapping method, with the Climatic Research Unit's precipitation dataset as reference. Drought is quantified using the standardized precipitation index and different measures of drought are estimated: drought duration, drought frequency, drought severity, and drought intensity. Evaluating the accuracy and reliability of historical data before and after bias correction demonstrates the importance of the approach. The overall distribution after bias correction depicts a close agreement with observation. Moreover, the multi-model ensemble mean demonstrate superiority over individual Global Circulation Models. Projected future changes show enhancement in precipitation over most parts of EA in the far future under different SSP scenarios. However, the arid and semi-arid regions are expected to receive less amount of precipitation, whereas the highlands and lake regions are expected to receive a larger amount of precipitation increase. Furthermore, the dry areas of EA are likely to experience more frequent drought events with longer duration, stronger intensity, and severity in the far future. Overall, this study identifies possible drought hotspots over EA, enabling early preparation for such events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1151-1176
Number of pages26
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number2
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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