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Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2022)

Investigating droughts οver South Africa

Τσιγγούδης Αντώνιος Δημητρίου

Titre : Investigating droughts οver South Africa

Μελέτη της ξηρασίας στην Νότια Αφρική

Auteur : Τσιγγούδης Αντώνιος Δημητρίου

Etablissement de soutenance : Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Grade : Postgraduate Theses 2022

As the world population grows, humans and the societies in which they are active are increasingly putting pressure on the already limited amounts of the planet’s water supplies, as well as on other natural resources, thus increasing our vulnerability to drought, both in developed and developing countries. In addition, climate change, which is evolving at an unprecedented rate on the planet, also contributes to the exacerbation of this problem. It is thus understood that there is an urgent need for nations to continue to develop policies aimed at reducing the social, economic, and environmental impact of future drought events. These policies should include a wide range of drought risk management techniques, which will include improved monitoring and early warning systems, preparedness plans and appropriate actions, as well as mitigation programs. The present master thesis focuses on the drought in the country of South Africa. Due to its geographical location and diverse morphology, South Africa has a wide variety of climatic types and is prone to frequent droughts. At the same time, cli-mate models’ future projections describe it as a possible hot-spot of intense droughts for the 21st century. Based on the above, South Africa has been selected by the AfriCultuReS program as a country for the study and implementation of modern tools for monitoring and warning of drought events that aim to better manage them at operational level, in order to limit their impact. In order to study these drought events, three quantitative drought indices were selected and utilized with data from 1/1/2017 to 31/12/2020. These indices are the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index - SPEI, in three-time scales of one, three and twelve months, the Soil Water Condition Index - SWCI and the Vegetation Condition Index - VCI. The analysis of the indices revealed three important drought events, with long duration, strong characteristics and large spatial distribution. These events were three case studies, and for their confirmation the bibliographic reports and the earth observations from the meteorological stations of the National Meteorological Ser-vice of South Africa were examined. Combining the results of this analysis, the indices present a similar behavior with the identification of drought periods in terms of their temporal and spatial distribution, and a great agreement with the predominant conditions in South Africa during these periods. We thus conclude that these are easy-to-use and reliable indices for quantitative estimation of the different types of droughts (meteorological, agricultural, hydrological)

Mots clés : Νότια Αφρική, AfriCultuReS, Δείκτες ξηρασίας, South Africa, Drought Indices


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Page publiée le 23 novembre 2022