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THERE IS AN INCREASING TREND IN DROUGHT SEVERITY IN NORTH CYPRUS

DROUGHT ANALYSIS OF NORTH CYPRUS (1 September 2014 – 31 December 2016)

 

 

 

 

Because of global warming, there is an increase in the frequency of extreme events such as floods and droughts. In this research project, historical drought events with their severity and duration are quantified using Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI). In this study, monthly rainfall and temperature data of 33 meteorological stations observed between 1978 and 2016 across North Cyprus as well as the soil map of North Cyprus are used. The results reveals that Northern Cyprus is experiencing more severe and frequent drought events since 2000.

This project has been conducted together with Meteorological Office of Northern Cyprus under the supervision of Assist. Prof. Dr. Bertuğ Akıntuğ. The main goals of the project are to developed PDSI model for Northern Cyprus and share it with Meteorological Office of Northern Cyprus, to identify historical drought events and their trends. The main impact of the project on literature is being the first drought study which considers the data of 33 meteorological stations using PDSI method and new soil map. The analysis of the trends in historical PDSI values is also the first in literature.

This project directly addresses a social problem. Meteorological Office of Northern Cyprus is responsible to identify historical droughts using different drought indices and share it in its web page. Although PDSI is very commonly used index in the world, because of its complexity, it was not employed by Meteorological Office. As a result of this collaboration, it will be possible to give monthly PDSI results in the web page of the office near future. Once the results of this drought index is shared in the web page of Meteorological Office, all Northern Cyprus community will be able to see the drought condition in the past and near future. These results will guide water resources authorities in their decisions.

After development of PDSI Model for Northern Cyprus in this project, in the future studies, it will be possible to calculate monthly PDSI values every month. In this case, it will be possible to analyze the frequency of the most critical historical drought even using stochastic times series models.

Research Group
Assist. Prof. Dr. Bertuğ Akıntuğ received his Bachelor degree in 1991 and Master of Science degree in 1997 in Civil Engineering from the Eastern Mediterranean University, North Cyprus. In 2000, he undertook a PhD research in the area of Statistical and Stochastic Hydrology in the University of Manitoba, Canada. During his PhD study, he also worked as a Water Resources Engineer in Manitoba Hydro and in a consultant company in Canada and completed number of water related projects across Canada and United States. Since 2006, he has been teaching water related courses in Civil Engineering Program, Middle East Technical University – Northern Cyprus Campus (METU-NCC). Currently, he is the coordinator of the Civil Engineering Program, METU-NCC. His research interests are: Flood and drought analysis, flood and groundwater modeling, hydrologic time series analysis, and water sensitive urban design techniques such as rainwater harvesting.

METU-NCC, Sustainable Environment and Energy Systems (SEES) graduate student Selen Çakal worked as a researcher in this project. Selen Çakal was responsible from literature review, model development, and analysis of results. Two meteorological engineers Mediha Orun Sarp and İldem Çiğiltepe Sert from Meteorological Office of Northern Cyprus contributed to the project in data preparation. Hasan Zaifoğlu who is a research assistant in another project completed the missing data and performed the quality control and homogeneity test of the data.

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