Journal of
Development and Agricultural Economics

  • Abbreviation: J. Dev. Agric. Econ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9774
  • DOI: 10.5897/JDAE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 553

Full Length Research Paper

Assessing the evidence of climate variability in the northern part of Ethiopia

Tagel Gebrehiwot
  • Tagel Gebrehiwot
  • Laboratory for Social Interactions and Economic Behaviour (LSEB), University of Twente, P. O. Box 217, 7514 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
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Anne van der Veen
  • Anne van der Veen
  • University of Twente, P. O Box 217, 7514 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
  • Google Scholar

  •  Accepted: 07 February 2013
  •  Published: 31 March 2013



In semi-arid highlands of northern Ethiopia, episodes of droughts of varying severity and duration occur. The occurrence of these droughts is associated mainly with the seasonal rainfall variability. This study attempts to investigate the temporal and spatial variability of climate parameters, particularly rainfall and temperature for the period 1954-2008. Standardized rainfall anomaly was used to examine the temporal characteristics of climate variability and determine the prevalence of droughts. Analysis of variance was also employed to establish significant differences in rainfall characteristics amongst different in-situ stations. The baseline climate data from each station was also spatially interpolated using ordinary kriging technique. The temporal analysis indicated an overall slight decrease in rainfall and an overall increase in the mean annual minimum and maximum temperatures over the study period. The analysis further revealed that the average annual minimum temperature over the region has been increasing by about 0.72ºC every ten years while average annual maximum temperature has been increasing by about 0.36ºC per decade. This shows that the northern part of Ethiopia is warming faster than the national average of 0.25ºC per decade. It is also observed that the average annual minimum temperature is increasing faster than average annual maximum temperature, which is an indication of warming nights over the years.


Key words: Weather, variability, drought, rainfall, temperature.