Multi-centennial summer and winter precipitation variability in southern South America

R Neukom, J Luterbacher, R Villalba, M Küttel, D Frank, PD Jones, M Grosjean, J Esper, L Lopez, H Wanner

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Abstract

We present the first spatially and temporally highly resolved gridded reconstruction of multi-centennial precipitation variability for southern South America (SSA). A novel reconstruction approach of deriving 10,000 ensemble members based on varying predictor networks and methodological settings allows the identification of spatiotemporal changes in SSA precipitation and associated uncertainties. The summer and winter reconstructions back to AD 1498 and AD 1590, respectively, provide new evidence for multi-centennial increase in summer precipitation and an opposing decrease in winter precipitation into the 20th century. The drying in winter is significant over large parts of SSA, whereas the patterns for summer, possibly representing convective rainfall, have displayed high spatial variability. The fact that such long-term seasonal and spatial changes have occurred in the past, underlines the complex form that hydroclimatic variability might have in the future. This emphasizes the need for careful adaptation strategies as governments become attuned to the realities of climate change.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume37
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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