Recently, climate change has increased the frequency of extreme weather events. In South Korea, extreme droughts are frequent and cause serious damage. To identify the risk of extreme drought, we need to calculate the hydrologic risk using probabilistic analysis methods. In particular, future hydrologic risk of extreme drought should be compared to that of the control period. Therefore, this study quantitatively assessed the future hydrologic risk of extreme drought in South Korea according to climate change scenarios based on the representative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5. A threshold level method was applied to observation-based rainfall data and climate change scenario-based future rainfall data to identify drought events and extract drought characteristics. A bivariate frequency analysis was then performed to estimate the return period considering both duration and severity. The estimated return periods were used to calculate and compare hydrologic risks between the control period and the future. Results indicate that the average duration of drought events for the future was similar with that for the control period, however, the average severity increased in most future scenarios. In addition, there was decreased risk of maximum drought events in the Yeongsan River basin in the future, while there was increased risk in the Nakdong River basin. The median of risk of extreme drought in the future was calculated to be larger than that of the maximum drought in the control period.
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