Mar 29, 2017

Somalia Drought, 2016 – 2017

Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, Karin van der Wiel, Sjoukje Philip, Sarah Kew, Heidi Cullen, Kasturi Shah, Roop Singh, Maarten van Aalst, Friederike Otto, Sarah O’Keefe, and Joyce Kimutai
World Weather Attribution
  • Assesses the potential role of climate change and the recent La Niña in Somalia's recent period of depressed rainfall
  • Finds that the trend in observed rainfall for September-December in both Somalia and Somaliland is essentially zero
  • Notes, however, that the probability of a season at least as dry as the one observed in 2016 occurring would have to change by a factor of 10 or more in order for a trend to become distinguishable over the high natural variability present in the observations in these regions
  • Finds that the strong La Niña that was active at the time increased the probability of a dry season and explains about one third of the precipitation deficit
  • Concludes that the effect of climate change on dry extremes in Somalia and Somaliland in the autumn (Deyr) rains is small: any change of probability that is concealed by natural variability is smaller than a factor of five increase and larger than a factor 0.7 decrease