Evaluating Extreme Rainfall Changes over Taiwan Using a Standardized Index

  • Author(s): Yu-Shiang Tung, Cheng-Ta Chen, Seung-Ki Min, and Lee-Yaw Lin
  • DOI:


  • Keywords: Extreme rainfall, Climate change, GEV
  • Citation: Tung, Y. S., C. T. Chen, S. K. Min, and L. Y. Lin, 2016: Evaluating extreme rainfall changes over Taiwan using a standardized index. Terr. Atmos. Ocean. Sci., 27, 705-715, doi: 10.3319/TAO.2016.06.13.03
  • Evaluating extreme rainfall change methodology
  • Climate regime ship
  • Extreme rainfall change in CMIP5 multi-models

The annual daily maximum precipitation (rx1day) is widely used to represent extreme events and is an important parameter in climate change studies. However, the climate variability in rx1day is sensitive to outliers and has difficulty representing the characteristics of large areas. We propose to use the probability index (PI), based on the cumulative density function (CDF) of a generalized extreme value (GEV) distribution to fit and standardize the rx1day to represent extreme event records in this study. A good correlation between the area-averaged PIs of the observed stations and those of the gridded dataset can be found over Taiwan. From the past PI records, there is no distinct trend in western Taiwan before the end of the 20th century, but a climate regime change happened during 2002 - 2003. The dual change effects from both the variance and linear trend of extreme events are identified over the northeastern and southern parts of Taiwan, along with the island’s central and southern regions, showing different abrupt changing trends and intensity. The PI can also be calculated using climate projection data to represent the characteristics of future extreme changes. The climate variability of PIs on the present (ALL) and future (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) scenarios were evaluated using the 16 Couple Model Intercomparison Projects Phase-5 models (CMIP5). The simulated present fluctuations in PIs are smaller than those of actual observations. In the 21st century, the RCP8.5 scenario shows that the PI significantly increases by 10% during the first half of the century, and 14% by the end of the century.

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