Abstract

Extreme climate events often have a significant and direct impact on social, economic, and environmental systems. This study is an attempt to characterize the current trends and future projections of extreme climatic indices in an arid region of Morocco on both an annual and a seasonal scale using 12 precipitation and temperature-based indices. The Mann–Kendall test was used to assess the trends, and the inverse distance weighted interpolation method was employed to analyze the spatial distribution of extreme precipitation indices. The results showed that the most extreme climate indices are spatially distributed with a clear gradient from the mountainous area toward the plains. Furthermore, the analysis indicates nonsignificant downward trends in the number of days with a rainfall amount greater than 10 or 20 mm. However, a significant negative trend in the consecutive dry days was observed at the Iloujdane and Sidi Bouathmane stations. The temperature indices have recorded statistically significant upward trends at all the stations. Finally, based on the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios, future climate change simulations show, respectively, annual precipitation decreases of 23 and 34% and temperature increases of 1.9 and 2.8 °C, which could imply substantial losses of cereal yield in the rainfed agriculture.

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