Indian Ocean Climate Initiative - Western Australia

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Home Research Program Theme 3: Very-high resolution climate change projections for the South west

Theme 3 - Project 3.1

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Project 3.1: Statistically Downscaled Climate Change Projections for the South West (Steve Charles)

Planned outcomes:

  • Develop climate change projections of daily rainfall and temperature for multiple south west sites produced for three climate change scenarios (B1, A1B, A2) using statistical downscaling models driven by atmospheric predictors from climate models assessed for their performance over the region.
  • Develop more rigorous and defensible estimates of regional climate change at a spatial scale suitable for use in impacts and vulnerability assessment.

Figure 3.1.1: Time series of anomalies of the JJA extreme rainfall index for SWWA, expressed in %, for 1-day, 1-yr recurrence interval extreme rainfall events

There is an on-going interest in characterizing possible changes in rainfall extreme events, because they not only cause significant damage to agriculture, ecology and infrastructure, but also produce the large portion of streamflow. This figure shows a significant decreasing trend of the winter months (JJA) extreme daily rainfall annual events since the 1970s. This is temporally consistent with the decline of the inflow into the reservoirs of Perth water supply by about 40–65% since the 1970s, for an annual rainfall decrease of only 10–15%.

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