Here we propose a new methodology for calculating the Standardized Evapotranspiration Deficit Index (SEDI) at the global scale using the difference between the actual evapotranspiration (ET) and the atmospheric evaporative demand (AED). ET was estimated by the Global Land Evaporation Amsterdam Model (GLEAM) v3a. The SEDI has been proposed recently to quantify drought severity based on the difference between actual evapotranspiration (ET) and the atmospheric evaporative demand (AED). Our findings demonstrate that, regardless of the AED dataset used for calculations, a log-logistic distribution is needed in order to fit the ED time series. As such, in many regions worldwide, the SEDI is insensitive to the AED method used for calculation. The SEDI showed significant correlations with the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) across a wide range of regions, particularly for short SPEI time-scales. Overall, while this work provides a robust approach for calculating spatially and temporally comparable SEDI estimates, regardless of the climate region and land surface conditions, further studies remain needed to assess the performance and the applicability of the SEDI to quantify drought severity across varying crop and natural vegetation areas.