Climate-driven trends in mean and high flows from a network of reference stations in Ireland

Murphy, Conor and Harrigan, Shaun and Hall, Julia and Wilby, Robert L. (2013) Climate-driven trends in mean and high flows from a network of reference stations in Ireland. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 58 (4). pp. 755-772. ISSN 0262-6667

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This paper introduces a reference hydrometric network for Ireland and examines the derived flow archive for evidence of climate-driven trends in mean and high river flows. The Mann-Kendall and Theil-Sen tests are applied to eight hydroclimatic indicators for fixed and variable (start and end date) records. Spatial coherence and similarities of trends with rainfall suggest they are climate driven; however, large temporal variability makes it difficult to discern widely-expected anthropogenic climate change signals at this point in time. Trends in summer mean flows and recent winter means are at odds with those expected for anthropogenic climate change. High-flow indicators show strong and persistent positive trends, are less affected by variability and may provide earlier climate change signals than mean flows. The results highlight the caution required in using fixed periods of record for trend analysis, recognizing the trade-off between record length, network density and geographic coverage.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: climate change; detection; high flows; Ireland; Mann-Kendall; mean flows; persistence; reference network; Theil- Sen; trend;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
Item ID: 4949
Identification Number: /10.1080/02626667.2013.782407
Depositing User: Conor Murphy
Date Deposited: 13 May 2014 10:40
Journal or Publication Title: Hydrological Sciences Journal
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes

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