Impact of historical land cover change on daily indices of climate extremes including droughts in eastern Australia

Deo, R. C. and Syktus, J. I. and McAlpine, C. A. and Lawrence, P. J. and McGowan, H. A. and Phinn, S. R. (2009) Impact of historical land cover change on daily indices of climate extremes including droughts in eastern Australia. Geophysical Research Letters, 36 (8). pp. 1-5. ISSN 0094-8276

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There is growing scientific evidence that anthropogenic land cover change (LCC) can produce a significant impact on regional climate. However, few studies have quantified this impact on climate extremes and droughts. In this study, we analysed daily data from a pair of ensemble simulations using the CSIRO AGCM for the period 1951–2003 to quantify the impact of LCC on selected daily indices of climate extremes in eastern Australia. The results showed: an increase in the number of dry and hot days, a decrease in daily rainfall intensity and wet day rainfall, and an increase in the decile‐based drought duration index for modified land cover conditions. These changes were statistically significant for all years, and especially pronounced during strong El Niño events. Therefore it appears that LCC has exacerbated climate extremes in eastern Australia, thus resulting in longer‐lasting and more severe droughts.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version deposited in accordance with copyright policy of publisher (AGU). To view the published open abstract, go to and enter the DOI 10.1029/2009GL037666.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Maths and Computing
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2010 03:00
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2014 06:27
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate extremes, droughts, heat waves, land-surface interactions
Fields of Research : 04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040104 Climate Change Processes
05 Environmental Sciences > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change
05 Environmental Sciences > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050104 Landscape Ecology
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960307 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts)
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1029/2009GL037666

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