Association of climate drivers with rainfall in New South Wales, Australia, using Bayesian Model Averaging

Hiep Nguyen Duc*, Kelly Rivett, Katrina MacSween, Linh Le-Anh

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    11 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Rainfall in New South Wales (NSW), located in the southeast of the Australian continent, is known to be influenced by four major climate drivers: the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO), the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). Many studies have shown the influences of ENSO, IPO modulation, SAM and IOD on rainfall in Australia and on southeast Australia in particular. However, only limited work has been undertaken using a multiple regression framework to examine the extent of the combined effect of these climate drivers on rainfall. This paper analysed the role of these combined climate drivers and their interaction on the rainfall in NSW using Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA) to account for model uncertainty by considering each of the linear models across the whole model space which is equal to the set of all possible combinations of predictors to find the model posterior probabilities and their expected predictor coefficients. Using BMA for linear regression models, we are able to corroborate and confirm the results from many previous studies. In addition, the method gives the ranking order of importance and the probability of the association of each of the climate drivers and their interaction on the rainfall at a site. The ability to quantify the relative contribution of the climate drivers offers the key to understand the complex interaction of drivers on rainfall, or lack of rainfall in a region, such as the three big droughts in southeastern Australia which have been the subject of discussion and debate recently on their causes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)169-185
    Number of pages17
    JournalTheoretical and Applied Climatology
    Volume127
    Issue number1-2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

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