Environ Monit Assess. 2022 Jun 13;194(7):498. doi: 10.1007/s10661-022-10011-0.
Studies on historical patterns of climate variables and climate indices have attained significant importance because of the increasing frequency and severity of extreme events worldwide. While the recent events in the tropical state of Kerala (India) have drawn attention to the catastrophic impacts of extreme rainfall events leading to landslides and loss of human lives, a comprehensive and long-term spatiotemporal assessment of climate variables is still lacking. This study investigates the long-term trend analysis (119 years) of climate variables at 5% significance level over the state using gridded datasets of daily rainfall (0.25° × 0.25° spatial resolution) and temperature (1° × 1° spatial resolution) at annual and seasonal scales (south-west monsoon, north-east monsoon, winter and summer). Five trend analysis techniques including the Mann-Kendall test (MK), three modified Mann-Kendall tests and innovative trend analysis (ITA) test were performed in the study. It is evident from the trend analysis results that more than 83% of grid points were showing negative trends in annual and south-west monsoon season rainfall series (at a mean rate of 39.70 mm and 28.30 mm per decade respectively). All the trend analysis tests identified statistically significant increasing trends in mean and maximum temperature at annual and seasonal scales (0.10 to 0.20 °C/decade) for all grids. The K-means clustering algorithm delineated 59 grid points into five clusters for annual rainfall, illustrating a clear geographical pattern over the study area. There is a clear gradient in rainfall distribution and concentration inside the state at annual as well as seasonal scales. The majority of annual rainfall is concentrated in a few months of the year. That may lead the state vulnerable to water scarcity in non-rainy seasons.