Australian rainfall trends and their relation to the southern oscillation index

Chowdhury, R. K. and Beecham, S. (2010) Australian rainfall trends and their relation to the southern oscillation index. Hydrological Processes, 24 (4). pp. 504-514. ISSN 0885-6087


Rainfall is the key climate variable that governs the spatial and temporal availability of water. In this study we identified monthly rainfall trends and their relation to the southern oscillation index (SOI) at ten rainfall stations across Australia covering all state capital cities. The nonparametric Mann–Kendall (MK) test was used for identifying significant trends. The trend free pre‐whitening approach (TFPW) was used to remove the effects of serial correlation in the dataset. The trend beginning year was approximated using the cumulative summation (CUSUM) technique and the influence of the SOI was identified using graphical representations of the wavelet power spectrum (WPS). Decreasing trends of rainfall depth were observed at two stations, namely Perth airport for June and July rainfall starting in the 1970s and Sydney Observatory Hill for July rainfall starting in the 1930s. No significant trends were found in the Melbourne, Alice Springs and Townsville rainfall data. The remaining five stations showed increasing trends of monthly rainfall depth. The SOI was found to explain the increasing trends for the Adelaide (June) and Cairns (April) rainfall data and the decreasing trends for Sydney (July) rainfall. Other possible climatic factors affecting Australian rainfall are also discussed.

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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: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Surveying and Land Information
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2018 04:17
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2018 04:17
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate change, rainfall, trend analysis, southern oscillation index, Mann–Kendall test
Fields of Research : 04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040105 Climatology (excl.Climate Change Processes)
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/hyp.7504

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