28 Jul 2023
 | 28 Jul 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Global High-Resolution Drought Indices for 1981–2022

Solomon H. Gebrechorkos, Jian Peng, Ellen Dyer, Diego G. Miralles, Sergio M. Vicente-Serrano, Chris Funk, Hylke E. Beck, Dagmawi T. Asfaw, Michael B. Singer, and Simon J. Dadson

Abstract. Droughts are among the most complex and devastating natural hazards globally. High-resolution datasets of drought metrics are essential for monitoring and quantifying the severity, duration, frequency and spatial extent of droughts at regional and particularly local scales. However, current global drought indices are available only at a coarser spatial resolution (>50 km). To fill this gap, we developed five high-resolution (5 km) gridded drought records based on the Standardized Precipitation Evaporation Index (SPEI) covering the period 1981–2022. These multi-scale (1–48 months) SPEI indices are computed based on monthly precipitation (P) from the Climate Hazards group InfraRed Precipitation with Station data (CHIRPS, version 2) and Multi-Source Weighted-Ensemble Precipitation (MSWEP, version 2.8) and potential evapotranspiration (PET) from the Global Land Evaporation Amsterdam Model (GLEAM, version 3.7a) and Bristol Potential Evapotranspiration (hPET). We generated four SPEI records based on all possible combinations of P and PET datasets: CHIRPS-GLEAM, CHIRPS-hPET, MSWEP-GLEAM, and MSWEP-hPET. These drought records were evaluated globally and exhibited excellent agreement with observation-based estimates of SPEI, root zone soil moisture, and vegetation health indices. The newly developed high-resolution datasets provide more detailed local information and be used to assess drought severity for particular periods and regions and to determine global, regional, and local trends, thereby supporting the development of site-specific adaptation measures. These datasets are publicly available at the Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA, (Gebrechorkos et al., 2023).

Solomon H. Gebrechorkos et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2023-276', Anonymous Referee #1, 04 Aug 2023
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC1', Solomon Hailu Gebrechorkos, 01 Oct 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2023-276', Anonymous Referee #2, 27 Aug 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Solomon Hailu Gebrechorkos, 01 Oct 2023
  • RC3: 'Comment on essd-2023-276', A. D. Mehr, 28 Aug 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC3', Solomon Hailu Gebrechorkos, 01 Oct 2023

Solomon H. Gebrechorkos et al.

Data sets

Hydro-JULES: Global high-resolution drought datasets from 1981-2022 S. Gebrechorkos, J. Peng, E. Dyer, D. G. Miralles, S. M. Vicente-Serrano, C. Funk, H. Beck, D. Asfaw, M. Singer, and S. Dadson

Solomon H. Gebrechorkos et al.


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Short summary
Drought is one of the most complex and major natural hazards and it has devastating impacts on the environment, economy, water resources, agriculture and society worldwide. High-resolution drought indices will help assess drought impacts at a global, regional and local scale thereby supporting the development of site-specific adaptation measures.