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• A set of statistical analyses are used to assess changes in extreme flood and drought events in Iran.
• Monotonic changes are detected in drought severity and flood magnitude in different local, regional, and national scales.
• Increase in extreme events can be attributed to climate change, land-use changes, and inappropriate management policies.
Located in an arid and semi-arid region of the world, Iran has experienced many extreme flood and drought events in the last and current century. The present study aims to assess the changes in Iran's flood magnitude and drought severity for 1950–2010, with some time span variation in some stations. The Mann-Kendall test for monotonic trend was first applied to assess changes in flood and drought severity data. In addition, to consider the effect of serial correlation, two Pre-Whitening Trend (PWT) tests were also applied. It was observed that the number of stations with statistically significant trends has increased after applying PWT tests. Both increasing and decreasing trends were observed for drought severity and flood magnitude in different climate regions and major basins of Iran using these tests. The increase in flood magnitude and drought severity can be attributed partly to land use changes, an annual rainfall negative trend, a maximum rainfall increasing trend, and inappropriate water resources management policies. The paper indicates a critical situation related to extreme climate change in Iran and the increasing risk of environmental changes in the 21st century.
Journal: Global and Planetary Change - Volume 144, September 2016, Pages 67–81