Author/s:

Miah, M.
Abdullah, H.
Jeong, C.

Publisher:

Springer Link

Year of Publication:

2017

Drought is a critical issue, and it has a pressing, negative impact on agriculture, ecosystems, livelihoods, food security, and sustainability. The problem has been studied globally, but its regional or even local dimension is sometimes overlooked. Local-level drought assessment is necessary for developing adaptation and mitigation strategies for that particular region. Keeping this in understanding, an attempt was made to create a detailed assessment of drought characteristics at the local scale in Bangladesh. Standardized precipitation evapotranspiration (SPEI) is a new drought index that mainly considers the rainfall and evapotranspiration data set. Globally, SPEI has become a useful drought index, but its local scale application is not common. SPEIbase (0.5° grid data) for 110 years (1901–2011) was utilized to overcome the lack of long-term climate data in Bangladesh. Available weather data (1955–2011) from Bangladesh Meteorology Department (BMD) were analyzed to calculate SPEIweather station using the SPEI calculator. The drivers for climate change-induced droughts were characterized by residual temperature and residual rainfall data from different BMD stations. Grid data (SPEIbase) of 26 stations of BMD were used for drought mapping. The findings revealed that the frequency and intensity of drought are higher in the northwestern part of the country which makes it vulnerable to both extreme and severe droughts. Based on the results, the SPEI-based drought intensity and frequency analyses were carried out, emphasizing Rangpur (northwest region) as a hot spot, to get an insight of drought assessment in Bangladesh. The findings of this study revealed that SPEI could be a valuable tool to understand the evolution and evaluation of the drought induced by climate change in the country. The study also justified the immediate need for drought risk reduction strategies that should lead to relevant policy formulations and agricultural innovations for developing drought adaptation, mitigation, and resilience mechanisms in Bangladesh.

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