Cluster analysis of monthly precipitation over the western maritime continent under climate change
Saurabh Kumar Singh
Lo, Edmond Yat-Man
Date of Issue2017
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Changes in climate because of global warming during the 20th and 21st centuries have a direct impact on the hydrological cycle as driven by precipitation. However, studying precipitation over the Western Maritime Continent (WMC) is a great challenge, as the WMC has a complex topography and weather system. Understanding changes in precipitation patterns and their groupings is an important aspect of planning mitigation measures to minimize flood and drought risk as well as of understanding the redistribution of precipitation arising from climate change. This paper employs Ward’s hierarchical clustering on regional climate model (RCM)-simulated monthly precipitation gridded data over 42 approximately evenly distributed grid stations from the years 2030 to 2060. The aim was to investigate spatial and temporal groupings over the four major landmasses in the WMC and to compare these with historical precipitation groupings. The results showed that the four large-scale islands of Java, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo would experience a significant spatial redistribution of precipitation over the years 2030 to 2060, as compared to historical patterns from 1980 to 2005. The spatial groups were also compared for two future forcing scenarios, representative concentration pathways (RCPs) 4.5 and 8.5, and different groupings over the Borneo region were observed.
© 2017 The Author(s). Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).