Skip to content

Quantifying asynchronicity of precipitation and potential evapotranspiration in Mediterranean climates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Early online date9 Dec 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 28 Nov 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 9 Dec 2019
DatePublished (current) - 18 Dec 2019


Recent climate change has contributed to shifts in the seasonal interplay between precipitation and potential evapotranspiration (PET), which have in turn increased droughts and reduced freshwater availability in Mediterranean climate regions. To overcome limitations in existing indices for comparing these seasonal hydroclimatic drivers at the global scale, we introduce an information theory based, non-parametric asynchronicity index that captures both the temporal alignment and relative magnitudes of precipitation and PET. We use this asynchronicity index to first identify Mediterranean climates around the world. We then apply the asynchronicity index over two Mediterranean climate regions show that their boundaries have shifted between 1960 – 2018, resulting in a regional expansion in the U.S. Pacific northwest and a contraction in southwestern Australia. These results highlight the need for globally consistent measures of seasonal climatic water supply and demand for diagnosing potential changes in water resources and ecosystem responses within Mediterranean climate regions.

    Research areas

  • Mediterranean climates, synchronicity, water resources, phenology, information theory, classification

Download statistics

No data available



  • Full-text PDF (author’s accepted manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via American Geophysical Union at . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 2.47 MB, PDF document

  • Full-text PDF (final published version)

    Rights statement: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via American Geophysical Union at . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Final published version, 3.28 MB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 9/06/20

    Request copy


View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups