Analysis of Rainfall and Temperature Time Series to Detect long-term Climatic Trends and Variability over Semi-arid Botswana

Arid and semi-arid environments have been identified with locations prone to impacts of climate variability and change. Investigating long-term trends is one way of tracing climate change impacts. This study investigates variability through annual and seasonal meteorological time series. Possible inhomogeneities and years of intervention are analysed using four absolute homogeneity tests. Trends in the climatic variables were determined using Mann–Kendall and Sen’s Slope estimator statistics. Association of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) with local climate is also investigated through multivariate analysis. Results from the study show that rainfall time series are fully homogeneous with 78.6 and 50% of the stations for maximum and minimum temperature, respectively, showing homogeneity. Trends also indicate a general decrease of 5.8, 7.4 and 18.1% in annual, summer and winter rainfall, respectively. Warming trends are observed in annual and winter temperature at 0.3 and 1.5% for maximum temperature and 1.7 and 6.5% for minimum temperature, respectively. Rainfall reported a positive correlation with Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and at the same time negative association with Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs). Strong relationships between SSTs and maximum temperature are observed during the El Niño and La Niña years. These study findings could facilitate planning and management of agricultural and water resources in Botswana.
Correlation; El Ni˜no; homogeneity test; intervention analysis; persistence; trend analysis
Byakatonda, J., Parida, B. P., Kenabatho, P. K., & Moalafhi, D. B. (2018). Analysis of rainfall and temperature time series to detect long-term climatic trends and variability over semi-arid Botswana. Journal of Earth System Science, 127(2), 1-20.