ANALYSIS OF PROJECTED FREQUENCY AND INTENSITY CHANGES OF PRECIPITATION IN THE CARPATHIAN REGION
KIS ANNA, PONGRÁCZ RITA, BARTHOLY JUDIT
ABSTRACT. – Analysis of projected frequency and intensity changes of precipitation in the Carpathian region. Precipitation is the major atmospheric source of surface water, thus, in order to build appropriate adaptation strategies for various economic sections related to water resources it is essential to provide projections for precipitation tendencies as exact as possible. Extreme precipitation events are especially important from this point of view since they may result in different environmental, economical, and/or even human health damages. Excessive precipitation for instance may induce floods, flash-floods, landslides, traffic accidents. On the other hand, lack of precipitation is not favorable either: long dry periods affect agricultural production quite negatively, and hence, food safety can be threatened. Several precipitation-related indices (i.e., describing drought or intensity, exceeding different percentile-based or absolute threshold values) are analyzed for the Carpathian region for 1961–2100. For this purpose 11 completed regional climate model simulations are used from the ENSEMBLES database. Before the thorough analysis, a percentile-based bias correction method was applied to the raw data, for which the homogenized daily gridded CarpatClim database (1961–2010) served as a reference. Absolute and relative seasonal mean changes of climate indices are calculated for two future time periods (2021–2050 and 2071–2100) and for three subregions within the entire Carpathian region, namely, for Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. According to our results, longer dry periods are estimated for the summer season, mainly in the southern parts of the domain, while precipitation intensity is likely to increase. Heavy precipitation days and high percentile values are projected to increase, especially, in winter and autumn.
Keywords: regional climate simulation, extreme precipitation, drought, climate index