Spatiotemporal Drought Assessment over Sahelian Countries from 1985 to 2015

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  • Corresponding author: Kebiao MAO, maokebiao@caas.cn
  • Funds:

    Supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2019YFC1510203 and 2018YFC1506502), Fundamental Research Funds for Central Non-profit Scientific Institution (1610132020014), and Open Fund of State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science (OFSLRSS201910)

  • doi: 10.1007/s13351-020-9178-7

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  • Due to infrequent rainfall, high temperatures, and degraded land, the Sahel region often suffers from droughts. The Sahel region is considered as one of the world’s driest and extreme environmental conditions. In order to assess spatiotemporal vulnerability of potential drought impacts, we used remote sensing and ground station data to evaluate drought conditions in the Sahel region from 1985 to 2015. The standard precipitation index (SPI), standard precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI), vegetation condition index (VCI) anomaly, along with socioeconomic indicators were performed. In addition, Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC) was computed between drought indices and three main crops (sorghum, millet, and maize) in the region to estimate the effects. The analysis showed that temperature increased by 0.78°C from 1985 to 2015, which had a significant impact on crop yield for sorghum, maize, and millet with a statistical significance value of P > 0.05. In the decade spanning 1994 to 2005 alone, the temperature increased by 0.57°C, which resulted in ext