• Open Access

Recent climate change in the Arabian Peninsula: annual rainfall and temperature analysis of Saudi Arabia for 1978–2009

Authors

  • Mansour Almazroui,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center of Excellence for Climate Change Research/Department of Meteorology, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
    • Center of Excellence for Climate Change Research/Department of Meteorology, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia.
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  • M. Nazrul Islam,

    1. Center of Excellence for Climate Change Research/Department of Meteorology, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
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  • H. Athar,

    1. Center of Excellence for Climate Change Research/Department of Meteorology, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
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  • P. D. Jones,

    1. Center of Excellence for Climate Change Research/Department of Meteorology, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
    2. Climatic Research Unit, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
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  • M. Ashfaqur Rahman

    1. Center of Excellence for Climate Change Research/Department of Meteorology, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
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Abstract

The rainfall and temperature climatology over the Arabian Peninsula are analysed on an annual basis using various gridded datasets. For Saudi Arabia, the area of which represents almost 80% of the Peninsula, the climatic datasets from its 27 ground observations are analysed for the period 1978–2009, with additional gridded datasets used to describe the observed state and change of the present climate. The gridded datasets represent well the very dry (40–80 mm) area over the world's largest sand desert (Rub Al-Khali), the dry (80–150 mm) area over middle-to-north of Saudi Arabia, and the wettest (>150 mm) region in the southwest of the Peninsula. The annual temperature is relatively high (24–27 °C) in the middle-to-south of the Peninsula and low (<21 °C) in the northwest and southwest. The highest temperature (>27 °C) is obtained over the Rub Al-Khali. Over Saudi Arabia, the observed annual rainfall showed a significant decreasing trend (47.8 mm per decade) in the last half of the analysis period, with a relatively large interannual variability, while the maximum, mean and minimum temperatures have increased significantly at a rate of 0.71, 0.60, and 0.48 °C per decade, respectively. This information is invaluable to consider in any climate impact assessment studies in Saudi Arabia. Copyright © 2012 Royal Meteorological Society

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