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Journal of Arid Land  2021, Vol. 13 Issue (8): 858-878    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0103-4
Spatiotemporal variations of evapotranspiration and reference crop water requirement over 1957-2016 in Iran based on CRU TS gridded dataset
1 College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia
2 Department of Water Sciences and Engineering, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin 34148, Iran
3 Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
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Agriculture needs to produce more food to feed the growing population in the 21st century. It makes the reference crop water requirement (WREQ) a major challenge especially in regions with limited water and high water demand. Iran, with large climatic variability, is experiencing a serious water crisis due to limited water resources and inefficient agriculture. In order to overcome the issue of uneven distribution of weather stations, gridded Climatic Research Unit (CRU) data was applied to analyze the changes in potential evapotranspiration (PET), effective precipitation (EFFPRE) and WREQ. Validation of data using in situ observation showed an acceptable performance of CRU in Iran. Changes in PET, EFFPRE and WREQ were analyzed in two 30-a periods 1957-1986 and 1987-2016. Comparing two periods showed an increase in PET and WREQ in regions extended from the southwest to northeast and a decrease in the southeast, more significant in summer and spring. However, EFFPRE decreased in the southeast, northeast, and northwest, especially in winter and spring. Analysis of annual trends revealed an upward trend in PET (14.32 mm/decade) and WREQ (25.50 mm/decade), but a downward trend in EFFPRE (-11.8 mm/decade) over the second period. Changes in PET, EFFPRE and WREQ in winter have the impact on the annual trend. Among climate variables, WREQ showed a significant correlation (r=0.59) with minimum temperature. The increase in WREQ and decrease in EFFPRE would exacerbate the agricultural water crisis in Iran. With all changes in PET and WREQ, immediate actions are needed to address the challenges in agriculture and adapt to the changing climate.

Key wordsevapotranspiration      reference crop water requirement      effective precipitation      trend      Iran      spatiotemporal change      CRU TS data     
Received: 02 June 2020      Published: 10 August 2021
Corresponding Authors: Hadi RAMEZANI ETEDALI     E-mail:
Cite this article:

Brian COLLINS, Hadi RAMEZANI ETEDALI, Ameneh TAVAKOL, Abbas KAVIANI. Spatiotemporal variations of evapotranspiration and reference crop water requirement over 1957-2016 in Iran based on CRU TS gridded dataset. Journal of Arid Land, 2021, 13(8): 858-878.

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Fig. 2 Selected grid-cells from the CRU TS (Climatic Research Unit gridded Time Series) dataset and 14 stations used to validate the dataset
Fig. 3 Relationship between CRU TS data and observed monthly temperature data in 14 selected stations and all stations
Fig. 4 Relationship between CRU TS data and observed monthly precipitation data in 14 selected stations and all stations. Except for Anzali, most stations showed a good agreement between datasets.
Fig. 5 Relationship between trends calculated from CRU TS and observed monthly precipitation (left) and temperature (right) data before and after 1987. Acc, accuracy; Decr, decrease; Incr, increase.
Fig. 6 Annual (top panel) and seasonal (bottom panel) averages of total potential evapotranspiration (PET) in two 30-year periods of 1957-1986 and 1987-2016. The panel on the right shows the difference between the two periods. Grid-cells with non-significant changes (90% confidence level) are shown in grey.
Fig. 7 Annual (top panel) and seasonal (bottom panel) averages of total effective precipitation (EFFPRE) in two 30-year period of 1957-1986 and 1987-2016. The panel on the right shows the difference between the two periods. Grid-cells with non-significant changes (90% confidence level) are shown in grey.
Fig. 8 Annual (top panel) and seasonal (bottom panel) averages of water requirement (WREQ) in two 30-year period of 1957-1986 and 1987-2016. The panel on the right shows the difference between the two periods. Grid-cells with non-significant changes (90% confidence level) are shown in grey.
Fig. 9 Temporal trends in annual (top panel) and seasonal (bottom panel) total potential evapotranspiration (PET) in 1957-1986 and 1987-2016. Grey areas show non-significant trends. Panels on the right represent the difference between the slope of trends in two 30-year periods.
Fig. 10 Temporal trends in annual (top panel) and seasonal (bottom panel) total effective precipitation (EFFPRE) in 1957-1986and 1987-2016. Grey areas show non-significant trends. Panels on the right represent the difference between the slope of trends in two 30-year periods.
Fig. 11 Temporal trends in annual (top panel) and seasonal (bottom panel) water requirement (WREQ) in 1957-1986and 1987-2016. Grey areas show non-significant trends. Panels on the right represent the difference between the slope of trends in two 30-year periods.
Fig. 12 The percentage of regions with annual, scasonal, and monthly significant trends for potential evapotranspiration (PET), efctive precipitation (EFFPRE), and water requiremnent (WREQ) in two 30-year periods.
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