Observed magnified runoff response to rainfall intensification under global warming

Jr Chuan Huang, Tsung Yu Lee, Jun Yi Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Runoff response to rainfall intensification under global warming is crucial, but is poorly discussed due to the limited data length and human alteration. Historical rainfall and runoff records in pristine catchments in Taiwan were investigated through trend analysis and cross temperature difference analysis. Trend analysis showed that both rainfall and runoff in the 99.9-percentile have been significantly increasing in terms of frequency and intensity over the past four decades. Cross temperature difference analysis quantified that the rainfall and runoff extremes (including the 99.0-99.9-percentiles) may increase by 69.5% and 99.8%, respectively, under a future scenario of 1 °C increase in temperature. This increase in intensity resembles the increase in intensity observed between 1971-1990 and 1991-2010. The amplified runoff response can be related to the limited catchment storage capacity being preoccupied by rainfall extremes. The quantified temperature effect on rainfall and runoff intensification can be a strong basis for designing scenarios, confirming and fusing GCMs' results. In addition, the runoff amplification should be a warning for other regions with significant rainfall intensification. Appropriate strategies are indispensable and urgently needed to maintain and protect the development of societies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number034008
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • global warming
  • rainfall intensification
  • runoff amplification
  • water resource management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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