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Spatiotemporal variability of annual drought severity, duration, and frequency from 1901 to 2020

Rongrong Zhang, Yanping Qu*, Xuejun Zhang, Xiaoping Wu, Xiaozhen Zhou, Binyu Ren, Jingyu Zeng, Qianfeng Wang

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Drought is currently one of the most severe natural disasters affecting the world. Therefore, characterizing the temporal and spatial characteristics of droughts is critical to managing drought disasters and coping with global climate change. In this study, we apply the ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD), empirical orthogonal function (EOF) decomposition methods, and the drought event division method of run theory to analyze the temporal and spatial characteristics of the global surface meteorological drought from 1961 to 2020 using the self-calibrated Palmer drought severity index (scPDSI) product. We found that the world was gradually becoming wetter from 1901 to 2020, but the severity and duration of severe and extreme drought events continued to increase. Different from PDSI with no obvious short-period changes, the annual drought severity (ADS) has short cycle changes of 8 and 17 years. From the EOF decomposition results of different drought characteristics, dry and wet trends of local PDSI are inconsistent with the increasing or decreasing trends of severe and extreme drought events. Research on the temporal and spatial decomposition of severe and extreme drought events in this paper provides a new perspective for drought research and analysis. It is critical for further characterizing drought and preventing and managing drought disasters.