Centennial Annual Rainfall Pattern Changes Show an Increasing Trend with Higher Variation over Northern Australia

He, Jie, Feng, Puyu, Wang, Bin, Zhuang, Wei, Zhang, Yongqiang, Liu, De Li, Cleverly, Jamie, Huete, Alfredo, and Yu, Qiang (2022) Centennial Annual Rainfall Pattern Changes Show an Increasing Trend with Higher Variation over Northern Australia. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 23 (8). pp. 1333-1349.

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Global warming and anthropogenic activities have imposed noticeable impacts on rainfall pattern changes at both spatial and temporal scales in recent decades. Systematic diagnosis of rainfall pattern changes is urgently needed at spatiotemporal scales for a deeper understanding of how climate change produces variations in rainfall patterns. The objective of this study was to identify rainfall pattern changes systematically under climate change at a subcontinental scale along a rainfall gradient ranging from 1800 to 200 mm yr−1 by analyzing centennial rainfall data covering 230 sites from 1910 to 2017 in the Northern Territory of Australia. Rainfall pattern changes were characterized by considering aspects of trends and periodicity of annual rainfall, abrupt changes, rainfall distribution, and extreme rainfall events. Our results illustrated that rainfall patterns in northern Australia have changed significantly compared with the early period of the twentieth century. Specifically, 1) a significant increasing trend in annual precipitation associated with greater variation in recent decades was observed over the entire study area, 2) temporal variations represented a mean rainfall periodicity of 27 years over wet to dry regions, 3) an abrupt change of annual rainfall amount occurred consistently in both humid and arid regions during the 1966–75 period, and 4) partitioned long-term time series of rainfall demonstrated a wetter rainfall distribution trend across coastal to inland areas that was associated with more frequent extreme rainfall events in recent decades. The findings of this study could facilitate further studies on the mechanisms of climate change that influence rainfall pattern changes.

Item ID: 75050
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1525-7541
Keywords: abrupt change, extreme rainfall event, Northern Australia, periodicity, rainfall pattern change, trend
Copyright Information: © 2022 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DP130101566
Date Deposited: 16 May 2023 06:12
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4102 Ecological applications > 410203 Ecosystem function @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310308 Terrestrial ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1801 Air quality, atmosphere and weather > 180104 Weather @ 100%
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