Vulnerability of Turkey to Desertification With Respect to Precipitation and Aridity Conditions


Abstract: Climatic factors that may lead to desertification in Turkey were investigated by analysis of the spatial and temporal variations of the precipitation and aridity index series, for the period 1930-1993. Semi-arid and dry sub-humid environmental conditions are dominant over the continental interiors and South-eastern Anatolia. Persistent dry conditions have been evident for the past two decades over a considerable part of Turkey. There has been a general tendency from humid conditions of around the 1960's towards dry sub-humid climatic conditions in the aridity index values of many stations and of Turkey, in general. At some stations in the Aegean Region, there has been a significant change from humid conditions to dry sub-humid or semi-arid climatic conditions. With regard to climatic factors, South-eastern Anatolia and the continental interiors of Turkey appear to be aridlands that are prone to desertification. When other natural and anthropogenic factors, such as high topography, forest fires and unsustainable use of agricultural lands are also taken into account, the Mediterranean and Aegean regions could be more vulnerable to desertification processes in the future.

Keywords: Precipitation, Aridity Index, Seasonality, Variability, Trend, Persistent and Periodicity Analysis

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