Recent disruptions in the timing and intensity of precipitation in Calakmul, Mexico

Sofia Mardero, Birgit Schmook, Zachary Christman, Sarah E. Metcalfe, Betsabé De la Barreda-Bautista

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This study addresses changes in the timing and intensity of precipitation from 1982 to 2016 from three meteorological stations around Calakmul, Mexico, a landscape balancing biodiversity conservation and smallholder agricultural production. Five methods were used to assess changes in precipitation: the Mann-Kendall test of annual and wet season trends; a fuzzy-logic approach to determine the onset of the rainy season; the Gini Index and Precipitation Concentration Index (PCI) to evaluate the temporal distribution of precipitation; Simple Precipitation Intensity Index (SDII) to evaluate precipitation intensity; and the Rainfall Anomaly Index (RAI) to identify the deficit or surplus of rainfall compared with the long-term mean. Overall, rainfall trends in Calakmul over this period indicate a slight increase, though results of the indices (Gini, SDII, PCI) all indicate that rainfall has become more intense and more unevenly distributed throughout the year. There was no significant trend in the onset date of rainfall or the RAI overall, though there were more pronounced crests and troughs from 2004 to 2016. Higher interannual variability and more pronounced rainfall anomalies, both positive and negative, suggest that rainfall in the Calakmul region has become more extreme. This research informs for management and livelihood strategies in the local region and offers insights for analyses of regional patterns of seasonal precipitation events in tropical landscapes worldwide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-144
Number of pages16
JournalTheoretical and Applied Climatology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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