INSTITUTO ARGENTINO DE NIVOLOGIA, GLACIOLOGIA Y CIENCIAS AMBIENTALES
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Regional aspects of future precipitation and meteorological drought characteristics over Southern South America projected by a CMIP5 multi-model ensemble
OLGA PENALBA; JUAN ANTONIO RIVERA
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATOLOGY
JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD
Lugar: Londres; Año: 2015 vol. 36 p. 974 - 974
This paper addresses the regional impacts of climate change on precipitation and meteorological drought over Southern South America (SSA) through a CMIP5 multi-model ensemble based on 15 Global Circulation Models (GCMs) forced under two future scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). An assessment of the biases in the representation of the precipitation annual cycle was performed over the 1979-2008 period over five regions within SSA, based on a comparison between the GCMs precipitation outputs with the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC) dataset. The multi-model ensemble reproduces well the shape of the annual cycle of precipitation over most of SSA, although the monthly totals were overestimated (underestimated) over the North-West and South (North-East and Central-East) regions. Changes in precipitation and meteorological drought characteristics were identified by the difference for early (2011-2040) and late (2071-2100) 21st century values with respect to the 1979-2008 baseline, using the standardized precipitation index as a short- and long-term drought indicator. Future climate conditions are expected to modify the regional characteristics of meteorological droughts over SSA, but the range of uncertainty in the expected changes is high. A significant increase in the number of drought events in all the regions for most of the 21st century sub-periods and scenarios is projected for the multi-model ensemble. The mean duration of drought events will be shorter, with no significant changes in the severity of droughts and the occurrence of multi-decadal changes in the number of critical dry months is likely, although the significance in the changes depends on the region, future time horizon and scenario. These results overlap with a projected increase in precipitation over most of the regions, which has a strong seasonality and, therefore, will have some implications upon the future meteorological drought developments and the agricultural and hydrological practices in SSA.