skip to main content


This content will become publicly available on December 1, 2024

Title: Extreme precipitation patterns in the Asia–Pacific region and its correlation with El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)
Abstract In the Asia–Pacific region (APR), extreme precipitation is one of the most critical climate stressors, affecting 60% of the population and adding pressure to governance, economic, environmental, and public health challenges. In this study, we analyzed extreme precipitation spatiotemporal trends in APR using 11 different indices and revealed the dominant factors governing precipitation amount by attributing its variability to precipitation frequency and intensity. We further investigated how these extreme precipitation indices are influenced by El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) at a seasonal scale. The analysis covered 465 ERA5 (the fifth-generation atmospheric reanalysis of the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) study locations over eight countries and regions during 1990–2019. Results revealed a general decrease indicated by the extreme precipitation indices (e.g., the annual total amount of wet-day precipitation, average intensity of wet-day precipitation), particularly in central-eastern China, Bangladesh, eastern India, Peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia. We observed that the seasonal variability of the amount of wet-day precipitation in most locations in China and India are dominated by precipitation intensity in June–August (JJA), and by precipitation frequency in December–February (DJF). Locations in Malaysia and Indonesia are mostly dominated by precipitation intensity in March–May (MAM) and DJF. During ENSO positive phase, significant negative anomalies in seasonal precipitation indices (amount of wet-day precipitation, number of wet days and intensity of wet-day precipitation) were observed in Indonesia, while opposite results were observed for ENSO negative phase. These findings revealing patterns and drivers for extreme precipitation in APR may inform climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction strategies in the study region.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2025470
NSF-PAR ID:
10451650
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Volume:
13
Issue:
1
ISSN:
2045-2322
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Precipitation is one of the most difficult variables to estimate using large-scale predictors. Over South America (SA), this task is even more challenging, given the complex topography of the Andes. Empirical–statistical downscaling (ESD) models can be used for this purpose, but such models, applicable for all of SA, have not yet been developed. To address this issue, we construct an ESD model using multiple-linear-regression techniques for the period 1982–2016 that is based on large-scale circulation indices representing tropical Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and South American climate variability, to estimate austral summer [December–February (DJF)] precipitation over SA. Statistical analyses show that the ESD model can reproduce observed precipitation anomalies over the tropical Andes (Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia), the eastern equatorial Amazon basin, and the central part of the western Argentinian Andes. On a smaller scale, the ESD model also shows good results over the Western Cordillera of the Peruvian Andes. The ESD model reproduces anomalously dry conditions over the eastern equatorial Amazon and the wet conditions over southeastern South America (SESA) during the three extreme El Niños: 1982/83, 1997/98, and 2015/16. However, it overestimates the observed intensities over SESA. For the central Peruvian Andes as a case study, results further show that the ESD model can correctly reproduce DJF precipitation anomalies over the entire Mantaro basin during the three extreme El Niño episodes. Moreover, multiple experiments with varying predictor combinations of the ESD model corroborate the hypothesis that the interaction between the South Atlantic convergence zone and the equatorial Atlantic Ocean provoked the Amazon drought in 2015/16. 
    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    In drylands, most studies of extreme precipitation events examine effects of individual years or short-term events, yet multiyear periods (>3 y) are expected to have larger impacts on ecosystem dynamics. Our goal was to take advantage of a sequence of multiple long-term (4-y) periods (dry, wet, average) that occurred naturally within a 26-y time frame to examine responses of plant species richness to extreme rainfall in grasslands and shrublands of the Chihuahuan Desert. Our hypothesis was that richness would be related to rainfall amount, and similar in periods with similar amounts of rainfall. Breakpoint analyses of water-year precipitation showed five sequential periods (1993–2018): AVG1 (mean = 22 cm/y), DRY1 (mean = 18 cm/y), WET (mean = 30 cm/y), DRY2 (mean = 18 cm/y), and AVG2 (mean = 24 cm/y). Detailed analyses revealed changes in daily and seasonal metrics of precipitation over the course of the study: the amount of nongrowing season precipitation decreased since 1993, and summer growing season precipitation increased through time with a corresponding increase in frequency of extreme rainfall events. This increase in summer rainfall could explain the general loss in C3 species after the wet period at most locations through time. Total species richness in the wet period was among the highest in the five periods, with the deepest average storm depth in the summer and the fewest long duration (>45 day) dry intervals across all seasons. For other species-ecosystem combinations, two richness patterns were observed. Compared to AVG2, AVG1 had lower water-year precipitation yet more C3 species in upland grasslands, creosotebush, and mesquite shrublands, and more C4 perennial grasses in tarbush shrublands. AVG1 also had larger amounts of rainfall and more large storms in fall and spring with higher mean depths of storm and lower mean dry-day interval compared with AVG2. While DRY1 and DRY2 had the same amount of precipitation, DRY2 had more C4 species than DRY1 in creosote bush shrublands, and DRY1 had more C3 species than DRY2 in upland grasslands. Most differences in rainfall between these periods occurred in the summer. Legacy effects were observed for C3 species in upland grasslands where no significant change in richness occurred from DRY1 to WET compared with a 41% loss of species from the WET to DRY2 period. The opposite asymmetry pattern was found for C4 subdominant species in creosote bush and mesquite shrublands, where an increase in richness occurred from DRY1 to WET followed by no change in richness from WET to DRY2. Our results show that understanding plant biodiversity of Chihuahuan Desert landscapes as precipitation continues to change will require daily and seasonal metrics of rainfall within a wet-dry period paradigm, as well as a consideration of species traits (photosynthetic pathways, lifespan, morphologies). Understanding these relationships can provide insights into predicting species-level dynamics in drylands under a changing climate. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Precipitation in the outer tropical Andes is highly seasonal, exhibits considerable interannual variability, and is vital for regulating freshwater availability, flooding, glacier mass balance, and droughts. The primary driver of interannual variability is El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), with most investigations reporting that the El Niño (La Niña) results in negative (positive) precipitation anomalies across the region. Recent investigations, however, have identified substantial spatiotemporal differences in ENSO‐precipitation relationships. Motivated by the dissimilarity of these findings, this study examines a carefully selected data set (≥ 90% completeness) of ground‐based precipitation observations from 75 high‐elevation (≥ 2,500 m above sea level) meteorological stations in the tropical Andes of southern Peru and Bolivia for the period 1972–2016. Distinct groups of stations and associated variability in precipitation characteristics (e.g., total seasonal precipitation, wet season onset, and wet season length) are identified. Using no spatial constraints, the K‐Means algorithm optimally grouped stations into five easily identifiable groups. The groups farthest from the Amazon basin had significant negative (positive) precipitation anomalies (p < .05) during El Niño (La Niña), aligning with the traditional view of ENSO‐precipitation relationships while groups closest to the Amazon had opposite relationships. Additionally, though studies have reported delays in the wet season, years characterized by El Niño had an earlier wet season onset in all five groups. These findings may aid in improving seasonal climate prediction and managing water resources, and could allow for improved interpretation of tropical Andean ice cores.

     
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Greenhouse gas induced climate change is expected to lead to negative hydrological impacts for southwestern North America, including California (CA). This includes a decrease in the amount and frequency of precipitation, reductions in Sierra snow pack, and an increase in evapotranspiration, all of which imply a decline in surface water availability, and an increase in drought and stress on water resources. However, a recent study showed the importance of tropical Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) warming and an El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-like teleconnection in driving an increase in CA precipitation through the 21st century, particularly during winter (DJF). Here, we extend this prior work and show wetter (drier) CA conditions, based on several drought metrics, are associated with an El Niño (La Niña)-like SST pattern. Models that better simulate the observed ENSO-CA precipitation teleconnection also better simulate the ENSO-CA drought relationships, and yield negligible change in the risk of 21st century CA drought, primarily due to wetting during winter. Seasonally, however, CA drought risk is projected to increase during the non-winter months, particularly in the models that poorly simulate the observed teleconnection. Thus, future projections of CA drought are dependent on model fidelity of the El Niño teleconnection. As opposed to focusing on adapting to less water, models that better simulate the teleconnection imply adaptation measures focused on smoothing seasonal differences for affected agricultural, terrestrial, and aquatic systems, as well as effectively capturing enhanced winter runoff.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Future extreme precipitation (EP, daily rainfall amount over certain thresholds) is projected to increase with global climate change; however, its effect on groundwater recharge has not been fully explored. This study specifically investigates the spatiotemporal dynamics of groundwater recharge and the effects of extreme precipitation (daily rainfall amount over the 95th percentile, which is tagged by ranking the percentiles in each season for a base period) on groundwater recharge from 1950 to 2010 over the Northern High Plains (NHP) Aquifer using the Soil Water Balance Model. The results show that groundwater recharge significantly (p < 0.05) increased in the eastern NHP from 1950 to 2010, where the highest annual average groundwater recharge occurs compared to the central and the western NHP. In the eastern NHP, 45.1% of the annual precipitation fell as EP, which contributed 56.8% of the annual total groundwater recharge. In the western NHP, 30.9% of the annual precipitation fell as extreme precipitation, which contributed 62.5% of the annual total groundwater recharge. In addition, recharge by extreme precipitation mainly occurred in late spring and early summer, before the maximum evapotranspiration rate, which usually occurs in mid‐summer until late fall. A dry site in the western NHP and a wet site in the eastern NHP were analysed to indicate how recharge responds to EP with different precipitation regimes. The maximum daily recharge at the dry site exceeded the wet site when there was EP. When precipitation fell as non‐extreme rainfall, most recharge was less than 5 mm at both the dry and wet sites, and the maximum recharge at the dry site became lower than the wet site. This study shows that extreme precipitation plays a significant role in determining groundwater recharge. © 2016 The Authors Hydrological Processes Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

     
    more » « less