Published paper: “Meteorological, agricultural and socioeconomic drought in the Duhok Governorate, Iraqi Kurdistan”

After three years of analyzing, writing, submitting, revising, getting rejected, revising and re-analyzing again, the second paper of my PhD project has been published in Natural Hazards.

This paper started as a short “side paper” on agriculture in Duhok, developed into a paper on drought and migration, and then ended up as a multi-perspective drought assessment. For each revision, the paper has improved and I’ve learned something in each step. The process of publishing a paper is like that, not a straight path, but with important experiences at every dead end and turn.

Unfortunately there was no funding to make it open access but if anyone wants to know more they can contact me. One of the objectives of this blog is to stimulate the flow of research and related information to people who are not able to access the information through research articles.

Link to the paper:


Drought is a recurrent natural hazard that is expected to increase in the future due to anthropogenic climate change. The Middle East region witnessed a drought period between 2007 and 2009 that has been reported to have severe consequences for the population, especially in Syria and Iraq. This study seeks to assess the spatial and temporal characteristics of the drought in the Duhok Governorate in northern Iraq, focusing on meteorological, agricultural and socioeconomic drought at province and village level. Satellite-based precipitation data, validated by station data, were used in a meteorological drought assessment. To estimate the decreased precipitation’s effects on vegetation, an agricultural drought assessment was performed using Enhanced Vegetation Index from multi-temporal satellite data. Vegetation anomalies were studied at provincial level, and also at village level where the anomalies were compared with survey data showing the socioeconomic susceptibility to drought. The study confirms that precipitation dropped by approximately 50 %, leading to a negative anomaly in vegetation conditions for 62 % of Duhok Governorate’s area in 2008. Out of 50 assessed villages, 46 experienced a negative vegetation anomaly during the drought year, and three of those experienced a strong negative anomaly. Reports of drought as a problem were frequently recorded in the exposed villages, but were also related to the level of agricultural involvement. This study emphasizes the importance of understanding drought from both physical and socioeconomic perspectives. Moreover, discrepancies in the datasets make a multi-source approach essential to avoid erroneous interpretations.


One thought on “Published paper: “Meteorological, agricultural and socioeconomic drought in the Duhok Governorate, Iraqi Kurdistan”

  1. Pingback: Your guide to the “data jungle”: A summary of the data I have used or reviewed in my research | Population and Environment in the Middle East

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