• Non-ICIMOD publication


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Spatial-Temporal Seasonal Variability of Extreme Precipitation under Warming Climate in Pakistan

  • Sohail Abbas
  • Muhammad Waseem
  • Muhammad Yaseen
  • Yasir Latif
  • Megersa Kebede Leta
  • Tallal Hassan Khan
  • Sher Muhammad
  • Summary

Climate science has confirmed the alteration of the hydrological cycle attributed to global warming. This warming tendency affects the monsoon precipitation in Pakistan with an unprecedented intensity, causing severe flooding. Therefore, it is inevitable to observe the recent spring and summer monsoon changes in extreme precipitation throughout Pakistan. The present study examined 8 precipitation indices in the past 50-year period (1971-2020) (stretched to two data periods; 1971-1998 and 1999-2020) using Mann-Kendall and Sen's method to investigate the direction and magnitude of the observed trends. Spring and summer wet days significantly increased in the central eastern (Kakul, Kotli, Jhelum) and western (Cherat, Chitral, Peshawar) regions in the 1st data period but significantly decreased in areas including the southern region in the 2nd data period. We further observed the high-intensity precipitation days (R10, R20) in the same seasons. The intensity of summer R20 was much stronger throughout Pakistan in the 1st data period which reduced significantly during the 2nd data period in northern and southern regions. We extended the circle of investigation to very heavy and extreme precipitation (R30 and R50). The intensity of R30 and R50 in summer followed the same pattern as observed for R10 and R20. However, R30 and R50 in pre-monsoon significantly increased in the northern, east-western, and south-eastern regions during the 2nd data period. Summer monsoon and westerly humid regions experienced a decreasing tendency of very heavy and severe precipitation in the 1st data period. Our results concluded that the most significant changes in precipitation extremes occurred with higher intensity and recurring frequency for all indices in spring and summer monsoon during the 2nd data period. © 2023 by the authors.