Key Messages

This study performed the spatio-temporal analysis of drought hazards across the agro-climatic zones (ACZs) of Karnataka under historical and future climate scenarios. The India Meteorological Department’s high-resolution gridded data for1989-2019 was used for historical drought occurrence analysis. Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment ensemble data of the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios were used for analysing future drought hazards in the near (2031-2060) and end term (2061-2099) periods. The standardised precipitation index (SPI) was used to calculate the frequency of droughts at different accumulation periods of 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Subsequently, the ACZ-wise drought hazard index (DHI) was calculated and mapped geospatially using ArcGIS. The results indicated that moderate drought events have the highest frequencies of occurrence, followed by severe and extreme drought events for all accumulation periods. During 1989-2019, 54.8%, 28.3% and 16.7% of droughts were moderate, severe, and extreme, respectively. An increase of 2.6% and 2.4% in the frequency of moderate droughts is projected under the RCP4.5 and 8.5 scenarios, respectively, in the end term. Under both historical and future climate scenarios, a high frequency of extreme droughts was observed in the long accumulation periods (SPI-9 and SPI-12), whereas the frequency of moderate droughts was observed to be high in the short accumulation periods (SPI-1 and SPI-3). Under the historical scenario, the frequency of droughts in the extreme category was high in the southern transition, central dry, and north eastern dry zones, severe category in the northern dry, southern transition, and coastal zones, and moderate category in the north transition, hill, and southern dry zones. Among the 30 districts of Karnataka, Chitradurga, Udupi, Tumakuru, Ballari, Koppala, Raichuruand Gadaga districts have very high DHI. This study sheds light on the potential consequences of climate change on drought scenarios in the Karnataka state’s agro-climate zones and urges for zone specific drought adaptation and mitigation strategies to strengthen the State resilience.


Agro-climatic zone-wise drought hazards in Karnataka under historical and future climate scenarios