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Quantification of the changes in intensity and frequency of hourly extreme rainfall attributed climate change in Oman

Abstract

Built environment, which includes some major investments in Oman, has been designed based on historical data and do not incorporate the climate change effects. This study estimates potential variations of the hourly annual maximum rainfall (AMR) in the future in Salalah, Oman. Of the five climate models, two were selected based on their ability to simulate local rainfall characteristics. A two-stage downscaling–disaggregation approach was applied. In the first stage, daily rainfall projections in 2040–2059 and 2080–2099 periods from MRI-CGCM3 and CNRM-CM5 models based on two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP8.5 and RCP4.5) were downscaled to the local daily scale using a stochastic downscaling software (LARS-WG5.5). In the second stage, the stochastically downscaled daily rainfall time series were disaggregated using K-nearest neighbour technique into hourly series. The AMRs, extracted from 20 years of projections for four scenarios and two future periods were then fitted with the generalized extreme value distribution to obtain the rainfall intensity–frequency relationship. These results were compared with a similar relationship developed for the AMRs in baseline period. The results show that the reduction in number of wet days and increases in total rainfall will collectively intensify the future rainfall regime. A marked difference between future and historical intensity–frequency relationships was found with greater changes estimated for higher return periods. Furthermore, intensification of rainfall regime was projected to be stronger towards the end of the twenty-first century.

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Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the Internal Research Grant (IG/ENG/CAED/16/02) of the Sultan Qaboos University titled as “Trend between the renewal rate of the aquifer and the extreme climate events”.

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Correspondence to Luminda Niroshana Gunawardhana.

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Gunawardhana, L.N., Al-Rawas, G.A. & Al-Hadhrami, G. Quantification of the changes in intensity and frequency of hourly extreme rainfall attributed climate change in Oman. Nat Hazards 92, 1649–1664 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-018-3271-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-018-3271-6

Keywords

  • Stochastic weather generator
  • K-NN technique
  • GEV distribution
  • GCM
  • RCP