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Some Aspects of Climate Variability and Increasing Aridity in Central Morocco over the Last Forty Years: Case of Tensift Basin (Marrakech-Morocco)

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Morocco, due to its location in the Mediterranean circumference, is vulnerable to present and future climate variability and climate change. Its surface water resources are becoming ever more limited and difficult to exploit. It might be expected that the warming of the hot season and drought would result in an increase in arid and semi-arid regimes of the region. In this context, we are interested in the evolution of aridity through climate indexes, including precipitation, temperature and evapotranspiration over the last 40 years in the Tensift watershed (central Morocco). As preliminary results, in the Tensift basin, the temperature became higher during the last two decades. It diminishes paradoxally towards mountainous areas. A slight decrease of precipitation has been noticed in the foothill regions of the High Atlas and near the Haouz plain. The study of aridity evolutions by the aridity index of De Martonne and aridity index of UNEP takes into account respectively the ratio between the mean annual precipitation (P) and temperature (T) and the relationship between annual precipitation and evapotranspiration. Generally, the aridity is decreasing from downstream to upstream of the study area. But during the past two decades, the region of the Tensift knew a subtantial augmentation in arid land regime may be due to global warming and reduced precipitation measured. Typically, there is a coherence between UNEP index and the index of the De Martonne from point of view of increasing aridity, which adds robustness to the result.
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Aridity is a term that most people conceptually understand, and it evokes images of dry, desert lands with sparse natural surface-water bodies and rainfall, and commonly only scant vegetation, which is adapted to a paucity of water.
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