Inter-Research > CR > v80 > n2 > p85-104  
CR
Climate Research

via Mailchimp

CR 80:85-104 (2020)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01596

Projected change in meteorological drought characteristics using regional climate model data for the Hunter region of Australia

Natalie Lockart1,*, Anthony S. Kiem2, Raymond Chiong3, Hedda H. Askland4, Amy Maguire5, Jane L. Rich6

1School of Engineering (Environmental Engineering), University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
2Centre for Water, Climate and Land, Faculty of Science (Earth Sciences), University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
3School of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
4Centre for Social Research and Regional Futures, Centre for 21st Century Humanities, School of Humanities and Social Science, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
5Newcastle Law School, and 6Centre for Resources Health and Safety, School of Public Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Drought is a natural phenomenon that can have prolonged and widespread impacts on many communities and environments. The impact of climate change on drought is uncertain, which makes it challenging to quantify how future droughts will affect society. This study uses downscaled rainfall data from 4 global climate models (GCMs) and 2 time windows (1990-2009; 2060-2079) to estimate changes in the average length and intensity of single drought events, and the total number of months experiencing drought during each time window for the Hunter region of Australia. This region was chosen as it is economically important for Australia, and will be the focus of future work that examines the social and policy implications of projected climate change impacts on drought and human displacement. The changes in drought characteristics are assessed using Standardised Precipitation Index and deciles approaches, and 2 datasets: (1) downscaled GCM rainfall; and (2) historical gridded rainfall adjusted via a quantile-quantile approach conditioned on the GCM rainfall. Key findings are that the changes in drought characteristics vary spatially across the study region, and are highly dependent on the downscaled GCM rainfall used, with some regions showing opposing changes in drought characteristics between the ensemble members. Further, the change in drought characteristics between the current and future time windows tends to be greater using the downscaled GCM rainfall when compared with the GCM-adjusted historical rainfall. These results pose the question of how GCM projections should be used to develop robust but cost-effective climate adaptation strategies.


KEY WORDS: Meteorological drought · Climate change · Regional climate models


Full text in pdf format 
Cite this article as: Lockart N, Kiem AS, Chiong R, Askland HH, Maguire A, Rich JL (2020) Projected change in meteorological drought characteristics using regional climate model data for the Hunter region of Australia. Clim Res 80:85-104. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01596

Export citation
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
Facebook - - linkedIn