This brief report, drawing from a multi-year effort by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), examines recent trends in March-June, June-September, and March-September rainfall and temperature, identifying significant reductions in rainfall and increases in temperature over time in many areas of Ethiopia. Conclusions: * Spring and summer rains in parts of Ethiopia have declined by 15-20 percent since the mid-1970s. * Substantial warming across the entire country has exacerbated the dryness.* An important pattern of observed existing rainfall declines coincides with heavily populated areas of the Rift Valley in south-central Ethiopia, and is likely already adversely affecting crop yields and pasture conditions. * Rapid population growth and the expansion of farming and pastoralism under a drier, warmer climate regime could dramatically increase the number of at-risk people in Ethiopia during the next 20 years.* Many areas of Ethiopia will maintain moist climate conditions, and agricultural development in these areas could help offset rainfall declines and reduced production in other areas.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
A climate trend analysis of Ethiopia
U.S. Geological Survey
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center