Assessing the impact of climate change on basin-average annual typhoon rainfalls with consideration of multisite correlation

Research paper by Yii-Chen Wu, Ju-Chen Hou, Jun-Jih Liou, Yuan-Fong Su, Ke-Sheng Cheng

Indexed on: 13 Apr '11Published on: 13 Apr '11Published in: Paddy and Water Environment


The effects of climate change on synoptic scale storms like typhoons can have profound impacts on practices of water resources management. A stochastic multisite simulation approach is proposed for assessing the impact of climate changes on basin-average annual typhoon rainfalls (BATRs) under certain synthesized climate change scenarios. Number of typhoon events and event-total rainfalls are considered as random variables characterized by the Poisson and gamma distributions, respectively. The correlation structure of event-total rainfalls at different rainfall stations is found to be significant (higher than 0.80) and plays a crucial role in the proposed stochastic simulation approach. Basin-average annual typhoon rainfalls were simulated for the Shihmen Reservoir watershed in northern Taiwan by considering changes in the mean values of annual number of typhoon events and event-total rainfalls, while assuming the correlation structure of multisite typhoon rainfalls to remain unchanged. The simulation results indicate that changes in expected values of BATR can be easily projected with simpler models; however, changes in extreme properties of BATR are more complicated. Comparing to changes in expected values of BATRs, lesser changes in more extreme events can be observed. This is due to the reduction in coefficient of skewness of gamma distribution BATR under different climate change scenarios. With consideration of the multisite correlation structure, changes in BATRs become more significant. Thus, in assessing the impacts of climate change on many hydrological and environmental variables which exhibit significant spatial correlation pattern, the multisite correlation structure needs to be taken into consideration.