Environmental Processes

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 975–990 | Cite as

Climate Change Impact on Future Rainfall and Temperature in Semi-arid Areas (Essaouira Basin, Morocco)

Original Article


One of the most important areas of current research is the impacts of climate change on climatic parameters, especially temperature and rainfall, as those have direct linkages with vegetation, agriculture and livelihood of people. This study attempts to analyse the possible future climatic changes in a semi-arid area, taking as an example Essaouira basin located on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. The present precipitation and temperature patterns and expected future changes (2018–2050) in Essaouira basin are investigated using the Canadian Earth System Model (CanESM2) of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report and reanalysis from the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) under the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) protocols for historical and future emission scenarios simulations. Statistical downscaling model (SDSM) is used for the downscaling. Non-parametric Man-Kendall and Pettitt’s tests are used to determine the trend and change point of temperature and precipitation series, respectively. The combined application of the results of SDSM, and the non-parametric trend and change point tests in the study area, for the study period 2018–2050, showed a downward trend of annual rainfall for Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 (17.29%) and upward trends for RCP 2.6 and RCP 8.5 (12.50% and 21.33%, respectively). The annual mean temperature was found to increase by 0.72 °C, 0.57 °C and 0.69 °C under the RCP 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5, respectively. Furthermore, the study area is predicted to have a shortening of the wet season from five (November to March) to four months (December to March).


Climate change Circulation model SDSM Essaouira basin Semi-arid area Western Morocco 



The authors would like to thank the Tensift Hydraulic Basin Agency for the climatic data of the Igrounzar meteorological station.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Géosciences et Environnement (LGE-ENS), Département de Géologie, Ecole Normale SupérieureUniversité Cadi AyyadMarrakechMorocco

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