What is it about?

Climate change may accelerate the water cycle at a global scale, resulting in more frequent extreme climate events. This study analyzed changes in extreme precipitation events employing climate projections statistically downscaled at a station-space scale in South Korea. Among the CMIP5 climate projections, based on spatial resolution, this study selected 26 climate projections that provide daily precipitation under the representative concentration pathway (RCP) 4.5.

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Why is it important?

The results show that a 20-year return period of precipitation event during a reference period (1980∼2005) corresponds to a 16.6 yr for 2011 to 2040, 14.1 yr for 2041 to 2070, and 12.8 yr for 2071 to 2100, indicating more frequent extreme maximum daily precipitation may occur in the future. In addition, we found that the probability density functions of the future periods are located out of the 10% confidence interval of the PDF for the reference period. The result indicates that the design standard under the reference climate is not managed to cope with climate change, and accordingly, the revision of the design standard is required to improve sustainability in infrastructures.


Although the confidence interval of the PDF of GEV widened over time, which means the uncertainty also increased over time. However, due to the increasing trend of location and scale parameter and the decreasing trend of the shape parameter, the PDF moved to the right, and the upper tail was expected to be thicker. However, the downscaled extreme precipitation showed considerable variability between the models and between the downscaling methods in this study. This means that the simulation of extreme precipitation is dependent on each resolution and parameterization. This leads to the limit in the quantitative projection of extreme precipitation based on climate change scenarios. Nevertheless, the future PDF is located outside of the 10% confidence interval of the reference PDF, so it was confirmed that the revisit of the design standard was required. There is a limitation to not provide an acceptable methodology for design standard revision. In the future, we will examine the performance of the engineering structure based on including the climate change factor in the risk calculation formulation.

Junehyeong Park
University of Alabama

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This page is a summary of: Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Extreme Precipitation Events: Applications of CMIP5 Climate Projections Statistically Downscaled over South Korea, Advances in Meteorology, October 2018, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, DOI: 10.1155/2018/4720523.
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