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Quantification of the expected changes in annual maximum daily precipitation quantiles under climate change in the Iberian Peninsula
* 1, 2 , 1
1  Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
2  Tragsatec

Published: 15 November 2018 by MDPI in The 3rd International Electronic Conference on Water Sciences session Submission

Climate model outputs can be used to assess the expected behaviour of extreme precipitations in the future due to climate change. In Europe, the EURO-CORDEX project provides precipitation projections in the future under various representative concentration pathways (RCP), proposed by the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the IPCC. The EURO-CORDEX project regionalised Global Climate Model (GCM) outputs in Europe through a set of Regional Climate Models (RCM).

In this work, 12 combinations of GCM and RCM under two scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5) supplied by the EURO-CORDEX programme are analysed in the Iberian Peninsula. Annual maximum daily precipitation series are considered. Precipitation quantiles for a set of probabilities of exceedance are estimated by using the three-parameter Generalized Extreme Value distribution and L-moments. Precipitation quantiles expected in the future are compared with the precipitation quantiles in the control period, for each climate model. Delta changes in precipitation quantiles are obtained as thresholds exceeded by a percentage of climate models: 50%, 68% and 90%. Three periods in the future are considered: 2011-2040, 2041-2070 and 2071-2100.

An approach based on Monte Carlo simulations is developed, in order to assess the uncertainty from the climate model projections. Expected changes in the future are compared with the sampling uncertainty in the control period. Thus, statistical significant changes are identified. The higher the significance threshold, the fewer cells with significant changes are identified. Consequently, a set of maps are obtained for various thresholds, in order to assist the decision making process in subsequent climate change studies.

The results of this study are currently being applied to implement the Floods Directive in Spain, regarding the preliminary assessment of flood risks.

Keywords: Climate Change; Precipitation; EURO-CORDEX; Uncertainty; Iberian Peninsula.