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    Linking drought indices to impacts to support drought risk assessment in Liaoning province, China

    Wang, Yaxu and Lv, Juan and Hannaford, Jamie and Wang, Yicheng and Sun, Hongquan and Barker, Lucy J. and Ma, Miaomiao and Su, Zhicheng and Eastman, Michael (2020) Linking drought indices to impacts to support drought risk assessment in Liaoning province, China. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 20 (3). pp. 889-906. ISSN 1684-9981

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    Drought is a ubiquitous and recurring hazard that has wide-ranging impacts on society, agriculture and the environment. Drought indices are vital for characterising the nature and severity of drought hazards, and there have been extensive efforts to identify the most suitable drought indices for drought monitoring and risk assessment. However,to date, little effort has been made to explore which index (or indices) best represents drought impacts for various sectors in China. This is a critical knowledge gap, as impacts provide important ground truth information for indices used in monitoring activities. The aim of this study is to explore the link between drought indices and drought impacts, using Liaoning province (northeast China) as a case study due to its history of drought occurrence. To achieve this we use independent, but complementary, methods (correlation and random forest analysis) to identify which indices link best to drought impacts for prefectural-level cities in Liaoning province, using a comprehensive database of reported drought impacts in which impacts are classified into a range of categories.The results show that the standardised precipitation evapotranspiration index with a 6-month accumulation (SPEI6)had a strong correlation with all categories of drought impacts, while the standardised precipitation index with a 12-month accumulation (SPI12) had a weak correlation with drought impacts. Of the impact datasets, “drought-suffering area” and “drought impact area” had a strong relationship with all drought indices in Liaoning province, while “population and number of livestock with difficulty in accessing drinking water” had weak correlations with the indices. The results of this study can support drought planning efforts in the region and provide context for the indices used in drought-monitoring applications, so enabling improved preparedness for drought impacts. The study also demonstrates the potential benefits of routine collection of drought impact information on a local scale.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This research has been supported by the National Key Research and Development Project (grant no. 2017YFC1502402), the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (grant nos. JZ0145B592016 and JZ0145B582017), the China Scholarship Council (grant no. 201808110260), and the NERC National Capability Official Development Assistance project SUNRISE (grant no. NE/R000131/1). Cite as:Wang, Y., Lv, J., Hannaford, J., Wang, Y., Sun, H., Barker, L. J., Ma, M., Su, Z., and Eastman, M.: Linking drought indices to impacts to support drought risk assessment in Liaoning province, China, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 889–906,, 2020
    Keywords: drought indices; China; correlation analysis; vulnerability; drought impacts;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units, ICARUS
    Item ID: 17878
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Corinne Voces
    Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2023 11:32
    Journal or Publication Title: Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
    Publisher: Copernicus
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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