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Downscaling of precipitation for climate change scenarios: A support vector machine approach

Tripathi, Shivam and Srinivas, VV and Nanjundiah, Ravi S (2006) Downscaling of precipitation for climate change scenarios: A support vector machine approach. In: Journal of Hydrology, 330 (3-4). pp. 621-640.

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The Climate impact studies in hydrology often rely on climate change information at fine spatial resolution. However, general circulation models (GCMs), which are among the most advanced tools for estimating future climate change scenarios, operate on a coarse scale. Therefore the output from a GCM has to be downscaled to obtain the information relevant to hydrologic studies. In this paper, a support vector machine (SVM) approach is proposed for statistical downscaling of precipitation at monthly time scale. The effectiveness of this approach is illustrated through its application to meteorological sub-divisions (MSDs) in India. First, climate variables affecting spatio-temporal variation of precipitation at each MSD in India are identified. Following this, the data pertaining to the identified climate variables (predictors) at each MSD are classified using cluster analysis to form two groups, representing wet and dry seasons. For each MSD, SVM- based downscaling model (DM) is developed for season(s) with significant rainfall using principal components extracted from the predictors as input and the contemporaneous precipitation observed at the MSD as an output. The proposed DM is shown to be superior to conventional downscaling using multi-layer back-propagation artificial neural networks. Subsequently, the SVM-based DM is applied to future climate predictions from the second generation Coupled Global Climate Model (CGCM2) to obtain future projections of precipitation for the MSDs. The results are then analyzed to assess the impact of climate change on precipitation over India. It is shown that SVMs provide a promising alternative to conventional artificial neural networks for statistical downscaling, and are suitable for conducting climate impact studies.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Journal of Hydrology
Publisher: Elsevier
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier.
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Civil Engineering
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
Date Deposited: 13 May 2008
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:44
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/13963

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