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Regional climate change impact on extreme precipitation and temperature of the Nile river basin

Abstract

In recent decades the water resource of Nile river basin (NRB) has suffered from increasing demands from competing users, and global warming impact that exacerbate occurrences of hydrologic extremes. To investigate climate change impact on the future precipitation and temperature of NRB, a regional climate model, weather research and forecasting (WRF) was set up at one domain, 36-km resolution to dynamically downscale the base period (1976–2005), RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 climate scenarios of four General Circulation Model (GCMs) of CMIP5 over NRB for 2050s and 2080s. For base periods, WRF simulated surface temperature and precipitation that agree well with observed CRU and GPCC data of NRB, respectively. Under downscaled RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 climate scenarios, the annual precipitation of Blue Nile, Atbara, and Sobat river basin, Bahar El Ghazal and Lake Victoria regions are projected to change by about [− 7, 14.2], [− 19, 25.3], [− 7, 39], [− 5.9, 23], and [3.6, 27] % in the 2050s, and [− 14, 25], [− 22.5, 39], [− 4.7, 60.4], [− 11, 31], and [11.8, 41] % in the 2080s, respectively. The mean annual air temperature for sub-basins of NRB is projected to increase by 1.67–2 °C in the 2050s, 2–2.5 °C in the 2080s under RCP4.5, and by 2.5–3 °C in the 2050s and 3.9–4.6 °C in the 2080s under RCP8.5, respectively. Most precipitation extreme indices investigated are projected to increase, which implies that NRB could experience more severe and frequent extreme precipitation in future. Furthermore, extreme temperature indices of NRB are projected to decrease in cold, but increase in warm night/days.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Mesgana Seyoum and Chun Chao Kuo for their valuable advice and support throughout this study. We are also grateful to Compute Canada’s WestGrid support staff for their assistance with technical issues of its supercomputers. This research partly was supported by Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada and University of Alberta.

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Correspondence to Thian Yew Gan.

Appendix

Appendix

This appendix contains Figs. 12 and 13 that show the spatial coverage of selected extreme climate indices analysed in this study for control period, 2050s and 2080s.

Fig. 12
figure12

a RX1day and b RX5day index over the NRB for control period, 2050s and 2080s of ACCESS1-3, CanESM2, GFDL-ESM2M and MPI-ESM-LR for RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios

Fig. 13
figure13

a TX10p and b TX90 index over the NRB for control period, 2050s and 2080s of ACCESS1-3, CanESM2, GFDL-ESM2M and MPI-ESM-LR for RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios

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Tariku, T.B., Gan, T.Y. Regional climate change impact on extreme precipitation and temperature of the Nile river basin. Clim Dyn 51, 3487–3506 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-018-4092-8

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Keywords

  • WRF
  • Regional climate model
  • Climate change impact
  • GCM
  • RCP climate scenarios
  • Dynamic downscaling
  • Extreme precipitation and temperature
  • Nile river basin