Analysis of precipitation conditions for the Carpathian Basin based on extreme indices in the 20th century and climate simulations for 2050 and 2100

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Precipitation is one of the most important elements of the hydrological cycle, and extreme events associated with precipitation are considered a key factor in several types of human activities, including agriculture, for instance. Therefore, the main objective of this paper is to evaluate extreme precipitation indices for the past century, and to analyse the possible tendency of future precipitation conditions for this century for the Carpathian Basin. Several climate extreme indices have been analysed according to the guidelines suggested by the joint WMO-CCl/CLIVAR Working Group (formed at the end of the 1990s) on climate change detection. These precipitation indices include the number of wet days using several threshold values, e.g., 20 mm (RR20), 10 mm (RR10), 5 mm (RR5), 1 mm (RR1), 0.1 mm (RR0.1), the upper quartile and the 95th percentile of daily precipitation in the base-period 1961-1990 (R75 and R95); the maximum number of consecutive dry days (CDD); the highest 1-day precipitation amount (Rx1); the greatest 5-day rainfall total (Rx5); the annual fraction due to extreme precipitation events (R95T); simple daily intensity index (SDII), etc. Our results suggest that regional intensity and frequency of extreme precipitation increased in the Carpathian Basin during the second half of the 20th century, while the total precipitation decreased and the mean climate became slightly drier during the whole 20th century. In the second part of this paper, several IPCC emission scenarios have been compared and GCM outputs have been analysed in order to project precipitation conditions in the Carpathian Basin for the 21st century. These climate simulations suggest that climate of this region may become drier in summer and wetter in winter, which highlight the importance of hydrological and agricultural planning in Hungary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-51
Number of pages9
JournalPhysics and Chemistry of the Earth
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 29 2010



  • Carpathian Basin
  • Climate projections
  • Extreme parameters
  • Precipitation
  • Trend analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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