Complex Network Theoretic Assessment of Precipitation Driven Meteorological Drought in India: Past and Future

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Vibhuti Bhushan Jha, Ashwin Gujrati, R P Singh


Spatio-temporal analysis of droughts is of paramount importance especially for future climate scenarios. We use complex network theoretic measures to understand spatio-temporal properties of precipitation driven meteorological drought across India in past and future climate scenarios. We construct drought networks using Event synchronization (ES) for moderate and extreme drought conditions derived using Standardized Precipitation Index at an aggregated scale of 6 months(SPI-6). Network measures like degree, closeness, betweenness and directionality are used to understand spatio-temporal properties of drought events. ES based networks can capture synchronous events and can help in ascertaining drought propagation through different regions. This study provides insight into the structural properties of drought networks and how they change for projected climate regimes. We find drought hotspots as well as regions which are vulnerable to spatially separated drought events. In the past, regions in western India were vulnerable to extreme droughts, which can propagate from other regions of the country. Use of complex networks also reveal a reversal in drought propagation directions in future climate scenarios. Furthermore, using centrality measures, we also identify regions which aid in drought propagation and act as pathways connecting drought hotspots. Thus, changes in structural and topological properties of complex networks can be used to understand the impact of climate change across regions.



Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Complex Networks


Published: 2021-03-22 08:14

Last Updated: 2021-03-22 08:16

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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