Journal article

Attribution Analysis of the Ethiopian Drought of 2015

Sjoukje Philip, Sarah F Kew, Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, Friederike Otto, Sarah O'Keefe, Karsten Haustein, Andrew King, Abiy Zegeye, Zewdu Eshetu, Kinfe Hailemariam, Roop Singh, Eddie Jjemba, Chris Funk, Heidi Cullen

Journal of Climate | American Meteorological Society | Published : 2018


In northern and central Ethiopia, 2015 was a very dry year. Rainfall was only from one-half to three-quarters of the usual amount, with both the “belg” (February–May) and “kiremt” rains (June–September) affected. The timing of the rains that did fall was also erratic. Many crops failed, causing food shortages for many millions of people. The role of climate change in the probability of a drought like this is investigated, focusing on the large-scale precipitation deficit in February–September 2015 in northern and central Ethiopia. Using a gridded analysis that combines station data with satellite observations, it is estimated that the return period of this drought was more than 60 years (low..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by EU project EUCLEIA

Funding Acknowledgements

This study was conducted as part of the Raising Risk Awareness project and the World Weather Attribution activity coordinated by Climate Central. We thank the National Meteorology Agency of Ethiopia for supplying additional station precipitation data and acknowledge NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information for the production of the GHCN-M dataset. For their technical expertise, we thank our colleagues at the Oxford eResearch Centre, A. Bowery, M. Rashid, S. Sparrow, and D. Wallom, and the Met Office Hadley Centre PRECIS team for their technical and scientific support for the development and application of weather@home. This research was done as part of the Raising Risk Awareness project, a partnership between the World Weather Attribution (WWA) Initiative and the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and also supported in part by the EU project EUCLEIA under Grant Agreement 607085.