Analysis of climate change impacts on the spatial and frequency patterns of drought using a potential drought hazard mapping approach



In this study, the spatial distribution of the potential drought hazard areas in Korea was estimated by conducting frequency analysis with the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), and the changes in potential drought hazard areas that appeared because of climate changes were predicted. In an attempt to estimate the changes in the spatial distribution of potential drought hazard areas, past observed data (1976–2010) from 54 automated weather stations under the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) and projected precipitation data (2011–2099) by four global climate models (GCMs). CNRM:CM3, CSIRO:MK3, CONS:ECHOG and UKMO:HADCM, were used. The severity–duration–frequency (SDF) curves were derived for the 54 weather stations in order to estimate the potential drought hazard areas by employing the potential drought hazard mapping approach. The spatial distribution analysis for the potential drought hazard areas showed that the drought in the Nakdong River basin, which was a frequent drought hazard area in the past, was more aggravated, and more severe droughts were predicted for the future in the Han River basin (Han River, Anseong Stream, West of Han River), which is located in the middle part of the country. From the analysis results of the four GCMs, more severe drought is expected throughout the Korean Peninsula in the future, by using the CONS:ECHOG model compared with the projected data from the four GCMs. Additionally, potential drought areas would shift from the south toward the east and central parts of the country, as projected by the UKMO:HADCM model.