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Potential impacts of climate change on precipitation over Lake Victoria, East Africa, in the 21st Century

Precipitation over Lake Victoria in East Africa greatly influences its water balance. Over 30 million people rely on Lake Victoria for food, potable water, hydropower and transport. Projecting precipitation changes over the lake is vital in dealing with climate change impacts. The past and future precipitation over the lake were assessed using 42 model runs obtained from 26 General Circulation Models (GCMs) of the newest generation in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). Two CMIP5 scenarios defined by Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP), namely RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, were used to explore climate change impacts. The daily precipitation over Lake Victoria for the period 1962–2002 was compared with future projections for the 2040s and 2075s. The ability of GCMs to project daily, monthly and annual precipitation over the lake was evaluated based on the mean error, root mean square error and the frequency of occurrence of extreme precipitation. Higher resolution models (grid size <1.5°) simulated monthly variations better than low resolution models (grid size >2.5°). The total annual precipitation is expected to increase by less than 10% for the RCP4.5 scenario and less than 20% for the RCP8.5 scenario over the 21st century, despite the higher (up to 40%) increase in extreme daily intensities. [authors abstract]

TitlePotential impacts of climate change on precipitation over Lake Victoria, East Africa, in the 21st Century
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsAkurut, M, Willems, P, Niwagaba, BC
Volume6
Issue9
Start Page2634-2659
Pagination26 p.; 17 Fog,; 2 Tab,;
Date Published08/2014
PublisherMDPI AG
Place PublishedBasel, Switzerland
Publication LanguageEnglish
ISSN Number 2073-4441
Keywordsclimate change, general circulation models (GCMs), Lake Victoria, precipitation, representative concentration pathways (RCP)
Abstract

Precipitation over Lake Victoria in East Africa greatly influences its water balance. Over 30 million people rely on Lake Victoria for food, potable water, hydropower and transport. Projecting precipitation changes over the lake is vital in dealing with climate change impacts. The past and future precipitation over the lake were assessed using 42 model runs obtained from 26 General Circulation Models (GCMs) of the newest generation in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). Two CMIP5 scenarios defined by Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP), namely RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, were used to explore climate change impacts. The daily precipitation over Lake Victoria for the period 1962–2002 was compared with future projections for the 2040s and 2075s. The ability of GCMs to project daily, monthly and annual precipitation over the lake was evaluated based on the mean error, root mean square error and the frequency of occurrence of extreme precipitation. Higher resolution models (grid size <1.5°) simulated monthly variations better than low resolution models (grid size >2.5°). The total annual precipitation is expected to increase by less than 10% for the RCP4.5 scenario and less than 20% for the RCP8.5 scenario over the 21st century, despite the higher (up to 40%) increase in extreme daily intensities. [authors abstract]

DOI10.3390/w6092634

Disclaimer

The copyright of the documents on this site remains with the original publishers. The documents may therefore not be redistributed commercially without the permission of the original publishers.