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Sustainability 2012, 4(5), 866-887;

Downscaling of Short-Term Precipitation from Regional Climate Models for Sustainable Urban Planning

Research & Development, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping 60176, Sweden
Institute of Urban Water Management and Landscape Water Engineering, Graz University of Technology, 8010 Graz, Austria
Dr. Pecher AG, Klinkerweg 5, 40699 Erkrath, Germany
Austrian Institute of Technology/DSS, Donau-City-Straße 1, 1220 Vienna, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 March 2012 / Revised: 23 April 2012 / Accepted: 24 April 2012 / Published: 4 May 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Flood Risk Management)
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A framework for downscaling precipitation from RCM projections to the high resolutions in time and space required in the urban hydrological climate change impact assessment is outlined and demonstrated. The basic approach is that of Delta Change, developed for both continuous and event-based applications. In both cases, Delta Change Factors (DCFs) are calculated which represent the expected future change of some key precipitation statistics. In the continuous case, short-term precipitation from climate projections are analysed in order to estimate DCFs associated with different percentiles in the frequency distribution of non-zero intensities. The DCFs may then be applied to an observed time series, producing a realisation of a future time series. The event-based case involves downscaling of Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) curves based on extreme value analysis of annual maxima using the Gumbel distribution. The resulting DCFs are expressed as a function of duration and frequency (i.e., return period) and may be used to estimate future design storms. The applications are demonstrated in case studies focusing on the expected changes in short-term precipitation statistics until 2100 in the cities of Linz (Austria) and Wuppertal (Germany). The downscaling framework is implemented in the climate service developed within the EU-project SUDPLAN. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; intense precipitation; urban hydrology climate change; intense precipitation; urban hydrology

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Olsson, J.; Gidhagen, L.; Gamerith, V.; Gruber, G.; Hoppe, H.; Kutschera, P. Downscaling of Short-Term Precipitation from Regional Climate Models for Sustainable Urban Planning. Sustainability 2012, 4, 866-887.

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