Projections of agricultural droughts in the Southeast Asia

Monday, 15 December 2014: 10:50 AM
Vimal Mishra, Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, 382, India
Southeast Asia is one of the most populated regions in the world, which falls among the food insecure regions. Droughts during the monsoon season hamper crop growth and food production. During the last few decades, rainfall in the monsoon season has been erratic leading to some of the most wide spread droughts in the region. Severity, areal extents, and frequency of droughts are analyzed using the observed data for the period of 1951-2007. Results indicate that frequency of severe drought increased in the Southeast Asia during the recent decades (1980-2007). To assess the variability of hydrologic and agricultural drought in the region, runoff and soil moisture were simulated using the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model. The model simulated drought variability was compared with drought simulated by the CMIP5 models during the historic period (1951-2005). Most of the CMIP5 models show increased frequency of severe agricultural droughts in the region under the projected future climate. Increased agricultural droughts in the Southeast Asia may put enormous pressure on the efforts towards achieving food security in the region.