Adjustment of CLIGEN parameters to generate precipitation change scenarios in southeastern Australia
Global climate model predictions are often downscaled with stochastic weather generators to produce suitable climate change scenarios for impact analysis. Proportional adjustment to generated daily precipitation and direct adjustment to parameter values for weather generators have been used for assessing the impact of climate change on runoff and soil loss. Little is known of how these parameter values should be realistically adjusted, the amount of adjustment, and whether the adjustments are correlated among different parameters. Rainfall in southeastern Australia has significantly increased since the late 1940s. Rainfall records in Sydney show a similar trend. Long term daily and 6-min intensity data from Sydney have made it possible to examine how CLIGEN parameter values have changed in relation to the underlying significant increase in rainfall. This study shows that for Sydney, most of the increase in rainfall is a result of the increase in wet day precipitation. The increase in the standard deviation of wet-day precipitation is greater than that in the mean, implying a greater rainfall variability during wetter periods. The wet-following-wet transition probability, and maximum 30-min rainfall intensity are all positively and significantly correlated with the change in wet-day precipitation. The change in peak intensity is about half the change in rainfall. No significant relationship can be established between the changes in mean monthly rainfall and those in the skewness coefficient for wet day precipitation and wet following dry transition probability for the site. Simultaneous adjustment of all these parameters is needed for generation of precipitation change scenarios for the region. Using simple proportional adjustment to generated precipitation sequences would lead to maximum impacts on runoff and soil loss predicted with WEPP, while attributing precipitation change equally to the change in wet day precipitation and the number of wet days would under-estimate the magnitude of the impacts considerably for the site.