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On the detection of human influence in extreme precipitation over India

Mondal, Arpita and Mujumdar, PP (2015) On the detection of human influence in extreme precipitation over India. In: JOURNAL OF HYDROLOGY, 529 (3). pp. 1161-1172.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2015.09.030 ...


Climate change is expected to influence extreme precipitation which in turn might affect risks of pluvial flooding. Recent studies on extreme rainfall over India vary in their definition of extremes, scales of analyses and conclusions about nature of changes in such extremes. Fingerprint-based detection and attribution (D&A) offer a formal way of investigating the presence of anthropogenic signals in hydroclimatic observations. There have been recent efforts to quantify human effects in the components of the hydrologic cycle at large scales, including precipitation extremes. This study conducts a D&A analysis on precipitation extremes over India, considering both univariate and multivariate fingerprints, using a standardized probability-based index (SPI) from annual maximum one-day (RX1D) and five-day accumulated (RX5D) rainfall. The pattern-correlation based fingerprint method is used for the D&A analysis. Transformation of annual extreme values to SPI and subsequent interpolation to coarser grids are carried out to facilitate comparison between observations and model simulations. Our results show that in spite of employing these methods to address scale and physical processes mismatch between observed and model simulated extremes, attributing changes in regional extreme precipitation to anthropogenic climate change is difficult. At very high (95%) confidence, no signals are detected for RX1D, while for the RX5D and multivariate cases only the anthropogenic (ANT) signal is detected, though the fingerprints are in general found to be noisy. The findings indicate that model simulations may underestimate regional climate system responses to increasing human forcings for extremes, and though anthropogenic factors may have a role to play in causing changes in extreme precipitation, their detection is difficult at regional scales and not statistically significant. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, PO BOX 211, 1000 AE AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Keywords: Climate change; Detection and attribution; Fingerprint method; Extreme precipitation over India
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Divecha Centre for Climate Change
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Civil Engineering
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2015 06:08
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2015 06:08
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/52886

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