Assessment of projected agro-climatic indices over Awun river basin, Nigeria for the late twenty-first century

Talardia Gbangou*, Mouhamadou Bamba Sylla, Onemayin David Jimoh, Appollonia Aimiosino Okhimamhe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines changes in rainfall effectiveness indices of the Awun basin in Nigeria during the late twenty-first century for agricultural applications with outputs from high-resolution regional climate model (RCM) simulations. The RCM simulations are driven by two global climate models for a reference period (1985–2004) and a future period (2080–2099) and for RCP4.5 (a scenario with some mitigation) and RCP8.5 (a business as usual scenario) forcings. Simulations are provided for the control (1985–2004) and scenario (2080–2099) periods. Observations from synoptic station are used for bias-correction. Three indices being local onset date, seasonality index (SI), and hydrologic ratio (HR) are analyzed. Onset and HR are tested with two evapotranspiration (ETp) models. Farmers’ perceptions are also collected to validate trends of rainfall indices for the present-day climate. We found that onset dates do not depend much on the ETp models used, and farmers’ perceptions are consistent with predicted rainfall patterns. Present-day climate trend shows an early onset. However, onset is projected to be late in future and the delay will be magnified under the business as usual scenario. Indeed, average onset date is found on the 5th May for present-day while in the future, a delay about 4 and 8 weeks is projected under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios respectively. SI is between 0.80 and 0.99, and HR is less than 0.75 for all scenarios, meaning respectively that (i) the rainy season will get shorter and (ii) the area will get drier in the future compared to the present-day. Local stakeholders are forewarned to prepare for potential response strategies. A continuous provision of forecast-based rainfall indices to support farmer’s decision making is also recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445–462
JournalClimatic Change
Issue number3-4
Early online date4 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


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