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Extreme precipitation and temperature indices under future climate change in central Asia based on CORDEX-CORE

Praveen Rai 1, Freddy Bangelesa 1,3, Daniel Abel 1, Katrin Ziegler 1, Jingshui Huang 2Timo Schaffhauser 2, Felix Pollinger 1, Markus Disse 2 and Heiko Paeth 1

1 Institute of Geography and Geology, University of Würzburg, Am Hubland, 97074 Würzburg, Germany
2 Chair of Hydrology and River Basin Management, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
3 Kinshasa School of Public Health, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

The present study analyzes the projected changes of extreme climate indices over Central Asia using regional climate model (RCM) simulations from the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) - Coordinated Output for Regional Evaluations (CORE). The extreme indices are based on precipitation and temperature and are inspected for present (1981–2005) and future periods - near- (2031–2055) and far-future (2071–2095) - to assess the long-term climate change under the representative concentration pathway RCP8.5. Projected changes are analyzed for three different model ensembles. These ensembles are based on CORDEX-Central Asia (ENS_CAS, four ensemble members) and CORDEXEast Asia (ENS_EAS, six ensemble members), and a combination of both (ENS, ten ensemble members) for our study area centered over high mountain Asia, called Central East Asia (CEAS). For precipitation indices, an increase of consecutive dry days (CDD) in ENS_EAS and a slight to moderate decrease in northern parts in ENS_CAS during near-future
is observed. Consecutive wet days (CWD), very heavy precipitation events (R20mm), maximum one-day precipitation (RX1day), and very wet days (R95p) are projected to increase in most areas. All indices show a further intensification towards the end of the century over large parts of the domain, e.g., +7.8% / +5.6 days for CDD, +96.6% / +0.26 days for R20mm, and +19.7% for RX1day as median of ENS over CEAS. For temperature indices, the ensembles project a strong increase over the high mountain regions and southern parts for consecutive summer days (CSU, +108.5% / +38.3 days), heat wave duration index (HWDI, +1379.1% / +91.37 days), and the percentage of very hot days (TX90p, +391.1% / +34.54 days). Accordingly, the number of consecutive frost days (CFD, -43.7% / -25.2 days) and the percentage of very cold days (TX10p, -83.4% / -8.13 days) are projected to decrease. The first-time usage of CORDEX-CORE and the larger ensemble size by considering simulations from overlapping domains increase the robustness of the findings from earlier studies. However, some discrepancies in the projected changes prevail among the different RCMs being part of the two CORDEX-domains and in specific landscapes like complex mountainous or lake areas. These uncertainties may be tackled by further model development with improved land-surface processes and potentially higher spatial resolution.


How to cite.
Rai, P., Bangelesa, F., Abel, D. et al. Extreme precipitation and temperature indices under future climate change in central Asia based on CORDEX-CORE. Theor Appl Climatol (2024).