Drought Hazard Mapping from Regional Climate Multimodel Ensemble over Spain

  •  Sandra Garcia Galiano    
  •  Juan Giraldo Osorio    
  •  Patricia Olmos Gimenez    


Improving the knowledge about the impacts of climate change on extreme drought events at basin scale, is important for decision makers in order to develop drought contingency plans which are the leading edge of adaptive management strategy. Considering high-resolution grids of observed daily rainfall and information provided by latest-generation Regional Climate Models (RCMs), the changes in the spatio-temporal patterns of extreme droughts in peninsular Spain are assessed. The non-stationarity character of time series, due to climate and anthropogenic changes, is represented by probabilistic models considering the time evolution of probability density function (PDF) parameters fitted to annual maximum lengths of dry spells time series. By a PDF ensemble from 17 RCMs, the spatio-temporal variability exhibited by the RCMs is represented. Scoring of models is based in the goodness-of-fit to CDFs (cumulative distribution functions) of observed annual maximum dry spells lengths. The reliability and skills of RCMs are assessed, for building the PDF ensemble, at grid site for the study area. Therefore, by adjusting PDF to series of annual maximum dry spells lengths, applying GAMLSS and bootstrapping techniques, the assessment of regional changes and trends associated to high returns periods (Tr = 25 and 50 yr.) is assessed. In general, an intensification of drought events for 2050 horizon, in contrast with 1990, is expected. By increasing return periods, the length of the annual maximum dry spells rises, albeit with a smaller number of areas with significant differences. The areas prone to extreme droughts in mainland Spain are identified.

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