Possible impacts of climate change on soil moisture availability in the Southeast Anatolia Development Project region (GAP): An analysis from an agricultural drought perspective

Komuscu A. Ü. , Erkan A., Oz S.

Climatic Change, vol.40, no.3-4, pp.519-545, 1998 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 3-4
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Doi Number: 10.1023/a:1005349408201
  • Journal Name: Climatic Change
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.519-545
  • Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University Affiliated: Yes


This paper presents probable effects of climate change on soil moisture availability in the Southeast Anatolia Development Project (GAP) region of Turkey. A series of hypothetical climate change scenarios and GCM-generated IPCC Business-as-Usual scenario estimates of temperature and precipitation changes were used to examine implications of climate change for seasonal changes in actual evapotranspiration, soil moisture deficit, and soil moisture surplus in 13 subregions of the GAP. Of particular importance are predicted patterns of enhancement in summer soil moisture deficit that are consistent across the region in all scenarios. Least effect of the projected warming on the soil moisture deficit enhancement is observed with the IPCC estimates. The projected temperature changes would be responsible for a great portion of the enhancement in summer deficits in the GAP region. The increase in precipitation had less effect on depletion rate of soil moisture when the temperatures increase. Particularly southern and southeastern parts of the region will suffer severe moisture shortages during summer. Winter surplus decreased in scenarios with increased temperature and decreased precipitation in most cases. Even when precipitation was not changed, total annual surplus decreased by 4 percent to 43 percent for a 2 °C warming and by 8 percent to 91 percent for a 4 °C warming. These hydrologic results may have significant implications for water availability in the GAP as the present project evaluations lack climate change analysis. Adaptation strategies - such as changes in crop varieties, applying more advanced dry farming methods, improved water management, developing more efficient irrigation systems, and changes in planting - will be important in limiting adverse effects and taking advantage of beneficial changes in climate.