Understanding South Australian rainfall trends and step changes

Chowdhury, Rezaul K. and Beecham, Simon and Boland, John and Piantadosi, Julia (2015) Understanding South Australian rainfall trends and step changes. International Journal of Climatology, 35 (3). pp. 348-360. ISSN 0899-8418


Rainfall is the key hydroclimatic variable that plays a vital role in the development of regional water management policies. Assessment of observed rainfall behaviour and its spatial and temporal variations are therefore important for climate change adaptation measures. This study assessed trends and step changes in observed annual and seasonal rainfalls across the South Australian region. More than 100 years of high‐quality rainfall data from 53 rainfall stations were analyzed using robust statistical techniques. The results are presented according to the eight South Australian natural resource management regions. Increasing annual rainfall trends were observed for the Arid Lands, Alinytjara Wilinara and Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges regions whereas decreasing trends were found for the Murray Darling Basin, Eyre Peninsula and South East regions. Both upward and downward trends were identified in the Northern and Yorke region. Seasonally, austral spring and summer rainfalls exhibited increasing trends in most of the regions whereas autumn and winter rainfalls showed decreasing trends. Most of the rainfall step changes were observed to happen in the 1960s and 1970s. The study also includes a discussion on possible mechanisms of South Australian rainfall variability and changes that may have links to the observed trends and step changes.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2018 04:53
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2018 04:09
Uncontrolled Keywords: rainfall, climate change, trend, step change
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090509 Water Resources Engineering
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960304 Climate Variability (excl. Social Impacts)
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1002/joc.3982
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/34227

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