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Meteorological drought features in northern and northwestern parts of Mexico under different climate change scenarios

Escalante-Sandoval, Carlos, Nuñez-Garcia, Pedro
Journal of Arid Land 2017 v.9 no.1 pp. 65-75
arid lands, climate change, drought, models, plateaus, rain, water management, Mexico
Meteorological drought has been an inevitable natural disaster throughout Mexican history and the northern and northwestern parts of Mexico (i.e., the studied area), where the mean annual precipitation (MAP) is less than 500 mm, have suffered even more from droughts in the past. The aim of this study was to conduct a meteorological drought analysis of the available MAP data (1950–2013) from 649 meteorological stations selected from the studied area and to predict the drought features under the different IPCC-prescribed climate change scenarios. To determine the long-term drought features, we collected 1×10⁴ synthetic samples using the periodic autoregressive moving average (PARMA) model for each rainfall series. The simulations first consider the present prevailing precipitation conditions (i.e., the average from 1950 to 2013) and then the precipitation anomalies under IPCC-prescribed RCP 4.5 scenario and RCP 8.5 scenario. The results indicated that the climate changes under the prescribed scenarios would significantly increase the duration and intensity of droughts. The most severe impacts may occur in the central plateau and in the Baja California Peninsula. Thus, it will be necessary to establish adequate protective measures for the sustainable management of water resources in these regions.