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Observed and future changes in precipitations and air temperatures in the central region of Algeria

By: N. Chourghal, F. Huhard

Key Words: Algiers, Trends in observed climate, Future climatic changes, Temperatures, Precipitations

J. Bio. Env. Sci. 11(1), 247-256, July 2017.

Certification: jbes 2017 0027


The IPCC reports indicate the Mediterranean basin and North Africa among the most vulnerable regions to future climate change. The latter phenomenon is up to now poorly studied in some of these areas; it is the case of Algeria, the largest country in the whole area. Using recorded climatic data and future projections, this study analyses the recent observed climate and characterizes the future changes in the central region of Algeria. Methodology is based on data analysis, calculation of anomalies and statistical trend tests. The past climate is represented by 56 years (1952-2007) of monthly observed temperatures and precipitations. Climate projections for the distant future (2071-2100) were obtained from the ARPEGE-Climate model of Météo-France run under the medium A1B SRES scenario. During the observed climatic period, there are no trends concerning the rainfall regime but positive trend in temperatures are detected and concerns only summer and autumn. Under future climatic conditions, monthly precipitation decrease and monthly temperatures increase throughout the year. Seasonal rainfall decrease by -16% in winter and by -28% in summer and increase in seasonal temperatures is by +1.7°C in winter and reached +3.8°C in summer.

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Observed and future changes in precipitations and air temperatures in the central region of Algeria

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The Mann-Kendall test methodology.

In the Mann-Kendall, first the statistic S is computed following formula:

Where xj and xk are the annual values in years j and k, j > k, respectively, and

Second, we compute the variance of S as follows:

Here q is the number of tied groups and tp is the number of data values in the p th group.

The values of S and VAR (S) are used to compute the test statistic Z as follows:

The statistic Z has a normal distribution. The presence of a statistically significant trend is evaluated using the Z value. A positive (negative) value of Z indicates an upward (downward) trend. To test for either an upward or downward monotone trend (a two-tailed test) at α level of significance, H0 is rejected if the absolute value of Z is greater than Z1α/2, where Z1α/2 is obtained from the standard normal cumulative distribution tables. Different significance levels  can be used (0.1, 0.05, 0.01 and 0.001 and in our study we use 0.05 α = 0.5.

N. Chourghal, F. Huhard.
Observed and future changes in precipitations and air temperatures in the central region of Algeria.
J. Bio. Env. Sci. 11(1), 247-256, July 2017.
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