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Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 130, Issue 3–4, pp 1085–1098 | Cite as

Bias-corrected regional climate projections of extreme rainfall in south-east Australia

  • Jason P. Evans
  • D. Argueso
  • R. Olson
  • A. Di Luca
Original Paper

Abstract

This study presents future changes in extreme precipitation as projected within the New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory Regional Climate Modelling (NARCliM) project’s regional climate ensemble for south-east Australia. Model performance, independence and projected future changes were considered when designing the ensemble. We applied a quantile mapping bias correction to the climate model outputs based on theoretical distribution functions, and the implications of this for the projected precipitation extremes is investigated. Precipitation extremes are quantified using several indices from the Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices set of indices. The bias correction was successful in removing most of the magnitude bias in extreme precipitation but does not correct biases in the length of maximum wet and dry spells. The bias correction also had a relatively small effect on the projected future changes. Across a range of metrics, robust increases in the magnitude of precipitation extreme indices are found. While these increases are often in-line with a continuation of the trends present over the last century, they are not found to be statistically significant within the ensemble as a whole. The length of the maximum consecutive wet spell is projected to remain at present-day levels, while the length of the maximum dry spell is projected to increase into the future. The combination of longer dry spells and increases in extreme precipitation magnitude indicate an important change in the character of the precipitation time series. This could have considerable hydrological implications since changes in the sequencing of events can be just as important as changes in event magnitude for hydrological impacts.

Keywords

Regional Climate Model Extreme Precipitation Bias Correction Extreme Precipitation Index Regional Climate Model Output 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was made possible by funding from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage backed NSW/ACT Regional Climate Modelling Project (NARCliM) and the Australian Research Council as part of the Future Fellowship FT110100576 and Linkage Project LP120200777. The modelling work was undertaken on the NCI high performance computers in Canberra, Australia, supported by the Australian Commonwealth Government.

Supplementary material

704_2016_1949_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1 mb)
ESM 1 (PDF 1062 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason P. Evans
    • 1
  • D. Argueso
    • 2
  • R. Olson
    • 3
  • A. Di Luca
    • 1
  1. 1.Climate Change Research Centre, ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System ScienceUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Atmospheric Sciences, SOESTUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  3. 3.Atmospheric SciencesYonsei UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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