Impact of climate change on drought in the Canary Islands

Published: 28 June 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/94gmt9c7fj.1
, Juan Carlos Pérez Darias, Francisco Javier Exposito, Juan P Diaz, Judit Carrillo


This data set corresponds to the referenced work (, related to climate projections, for the Canary Islands, of some aridity and drought indices. The meteorological variables used to calculate these indices are also provided, as they may be useful for other studies. Regional climate simulations, at 3 km resolution, were computed using the WRF model driven by three CMIP5 global climate models (GFDL-ESM2M, IPSL-CM5A-MR and MIROC-ESM). The simulations were performed for three 30-year periods, recent past (1980–2009), mid-century (2030–2059), and end-century (2070–2099) and two future greenhouse gas emission scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). Each file name has the following nomenclature: where: * VAR is the variable (aridity, evspsblpot, pr, spi3, spi12, spei3, spei12, tasmin, tasmax, sfcWind) * PERIOD is the simulation period, and also indicates, for future periods, the corresponding emission scenario (1980_2009, 2030_2059_rcp45, …) *FREQ is the frequency for data: year (mean value of annual values for the whole period) or monthly (mean value for each month, that is, the average for all the januaries, …) * GCM is the global climate model (GCM) whose results have been used to drive the WRF simulations (GFDL_ESM2M, IPSL_CM5A_MR, MIROC_ESM) The variables provided are: * aridity: Aridity index (UNEP, 1992), defined as P/PET where PET is the mean annual potential evapotranspiration and P is the average annual precipitation for the same period. * evspsblpo: mean (over the period) of the monthly potential evapotranspiration (PET). The Penman–Monteith (PM) method was used to calculate PET. Units are kg m-2 s-1. To convert, for example, the january value to the total mean evapotranspiration for that month, in mm, the original value must be multiplied by 60*60*24*31 = 2678400 (seconds in that month). * pr: precipitation. Units are kg m-2 s-1. Therefore, the unit conversion factor is the same as for evapotranspiration. * spi3: Standardized Precipitation Index computed from precipitation amounts for an accumulation period of 3 months. SPI values below ‒1 indicate rainfall deficits (drier than normal), while SPI values above 1 indicate excess rainfall (wetter than normal). The lower the SPI, the more intense the drought. Values are provided only for future periods, since, being a standardized index, the average over the same period in which the cumulative probability function is calculated (1980-2009) is zero. * spi12: same as spi3 but for an accumulation period of 12 months. * spei3: Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index, computed from “precipitation minus PET” amounts for an accumulation period of 3 months. * spei12: same as spei3 but for an accumulation period of 12 months. * tasmin: monthly mean of daily minimum temperature, in K. * tasmax: monthly mean of daily maximum temperature, in K. * sfcWind: monthly mean 10 m wind speed, m s-1



Universidad de La Laguna


Regionalisation, Climate, Drought


European Union INTERREG MAC 2014–2020 Program

PLANCLIMAC Project (MAC/3.5b/244)

Government of the Canary Islands, Consejería de Transición Ecológica, Lucha contra el Cambio Climático y Planificación Territorial

Agreement: B.O.C. No. 238, November 20, 2020