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Applying climate model precipitation scenarios for urban hydrological assessment: A case study in Kalmar City, Sweden
SMHI, Research Department, Hydrology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1986-8374
2009 (English)In: Atmospheric research, ISSN 0169-8095, Vol. 92, no 3, 364-375 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There is growing interest in the impact of climate change on urban hydrological processes. Such assessment may be based on the precipitation output from climate models. To date, the model resolution in both time and space has been too low for proper assessment, but at least in time the resolution of available model output is approaching urban scales. In this paper, 30-min precipitation from a model grid box covering Kalmar City, Sweden, is compared with high-resolution (tipping-bucket) observations from a gauge in Kalmar. The model is found to overestimate the frequency of low rainfall intensities, and therefore the total volume, but reasonably well reproduce the highest intensities. Adapting climate model data to urban drainage applications can be done in several ways but a popular way is the so-called Delta Change (DC) method. In this method, relative changes in rainfall characteristics estimated from climate model output are transferred to an observed rainfall time series, generally by multiplicative factors. In this paper, a version of the method is proposed in which these DC factors (DCFs) are related to the rainfall intensity level. This is achieved by calculating changes in the probability distribution of rainfall intensities and modelling the DCFs as a function of percentile. Applying this method in Kalmar indicated that in summer and autumn, high intensities will increase by 20-60% by year 2100, whereas low intensities remain stable or decrease. In winter and spring, generally all intensity levels increase similarly. The results were transferred to the observed time series by varying the volume of the tipping bucket to reflect the estimated intensity changes on a 30-min time scale. In an evaluation of the transformed data at a higher 5-min resolution, effects on the intensity distribution as well as single precipitation events were demonstrated. In particular, qualitatively different changes in peak intensity and total volume are attainable, which is required in light of expected future changes of the precipitation process and a step forward as compared with simpler DC approaches. Using the DC transformed data as input in urban drainage simulations for a catchment in Kalmar indicated an increase of the number of surface floods by 20-45% during this century. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 92, no 3, 364-375 p.
Keyword [en]
Rainfall, Climate change, Regional climate model, Delta change, Urban drainage
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Research subject
Hydrology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:smhi:diva-618DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosres.2009.01.015ISI: 000265464600009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:smhi-618DiVA: diva2:807320
Conference
7th International Workshop on Precipitation in Urban Areas, DEC 07-10, 2006, St Moritz, SWITZERLAND
Available from: 2015-04-23 Created: 2015-04-21 Last updated: 2015-04-23Bibliographically approved

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