Spatiotemporal analysis of rainfall and temperature variability and trends for climate resilient maize farming system in major agroecology zones of northwest Ethiopia
Spatiotemporal studies of the annual and seasonal climate variability and trend on an agroecological spatial scale for establishing a climate-resilient maize farming system have not yet been conducted in Ethiopia. The study was carried out in three major agroecological zones in northwest Ethiopia using climate data from 1987 to 2018. The coefficient of variation (CV), precipitation concertation index (PCI), and rainfall anomaly index (RAI) were used to analyze the variability of rainfall. The Mann-Kendall test and Sen’s slope estimator were also applied to estimate trends and slopes of changes in rainfall and temperature. High-significance warming trends in the maximum and minimum temperatures were shown in the highland and lowland agroecology zones, respectively. Rainfall has also demonstrated a maximum declining trend throughout the keremt season in the highland agroecology zone. However, rainfall distribution has become more unpredictable in the Bega and Belg seasons. Climate-resilient maize agronomic activities have been determined by analyzing the onset and cessation dates and the length of the growth period (LGP). The rainy season begins between May 8 and June 3 and finishes between October 26 and November 16. The length of the growth period (LGP) during the rainy season ranges from 94 to 229 days.