DATE2022-05-31 18:00:36
TITLEIncreasing droughts, sand and dust storms, and other extreme events across the Mashreq and North Africa
AUTHORSMarlene Tomaszkiewicz (1)
  1. 1) Un-escwa, Beirut (Lebanon)
ABSTRACTThe IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) has signaled projected decreases in precipitation and decreasing wind speed across the Mediterranean region, including North Africa. Observed data has revealed an increasing drought trend at varying scales, which is projected to continue. While such generalizations are important, they unveil only part of climate projections. Extreme events are a growing concern, which are more localized and often not captured by global climate models. The recently released Mashreq Domain outputs, developed under the auspice of the Regional Initiative for the Assessment of the Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources and Socio-Economic Vulnerability in the Arab Region (RICCAR), have downscaled six CMIP6 GCMs based 10 km spatial resolution. Results include both raw and bias-corrected outputs, facilitating climate applications across the Mashreq region, including the Eastern Mediterranean. These, coupled with other RCM domains to include North Africa, can be used to evaluate extreme events in selected locales. RCM outputs corroborate rising drought in the Mediterranean region, particularly across northern Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. However, flood risk still remains a threat, which is often followed by a drought period exacerbating its affects. For example, in the Algerois-Mitijda basin (Algeria), a seasonal drought frequency assessment based on SPI-3 signaled a projected increase in drought from 4 events every 5 years to annual occurrence probability. Yet, risk of extreme precipitation days is projected to persist, particularly in the eastern corner of the basin. Sand and dust storms are also a growing concern in the region, despite generally decreasing wind. Proxy indicators from meteorological and environmental parameters can be linked with RCM outputs to project SDS impacts. Here, we present preliminary results with anticipated outcomes.