EGU23-3295, updated on 22 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Drivers of sustained drought over the Arabian Peninsula in recent decades

Md Saquib Saharwardi, Hari Prasad Dasari, Karumuri Ashok, and Ibrahim Hoteit
Md Saquib Saharwardi et al.
  • Climate Change Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia (

The predominantly desert region of the Arabian Peninsula (AP), comprising seven nations, is characterized by high temperatures and meager rainfall. Temperature, and dust activity, are exacerbating over the AP. In the current study, we found that drought frequency and severity have increased in the AP over the last two decades compared to the previous five decades. This recent drought intensification is characterized by dominant decadal variability in addition to what appears to be a long-term trend. The current droughts intensification appears to be driven by increased warming over the AP than by a decrease in local precipitation. The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) cycle is strongly related to decadal drought variability, and the current unprecedented multiyear drought is associated with current positive phase of AMO. We developed a statistical model for future projections that indicates that the frequency and intensity of droughts over the AP are expected to decrease significantly in the coming year.

How to cite: Saharwardi, M. S., Dasari, H. P., Ashok, K., and Hoteit, I.: Drivers of sustained drought over the Arabian Peninsula in recent decades, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-3295,, 2023.