Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Future Precipitation Patterns in the Lake Victoria Basin Using CMIP6 Projections

Version 1 : Received: 24 July 2021 / Approved: 26 July 2021 / Online: 26 July 2021 (14:39:44 CEST)

How to cite: Ogega, O.M.; Scoccimarro, E.; Endris, H.S.; Nyadawa, M.; Mbugua, J.; Misiani, H. Future Precipitation Patterns in the Lake Victoria Basin Using CMIP6 Projections. Preprints 2021, 2021070584 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202107.0584.v1). Ogega, O.M.; Scoccimarro, E.; Endris, H.S.; Nyadawa, M.; Mbugua, J.; Misiani, H. Future Precipitation Patterns in the Lake Victoria Basin Using CMIP6 Projections. Preprints 2021, 2021070584 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202107.0584.v1).

Abstract

In late/early 2019/2020, unprecedented high-water-levels were observed in Lake Victoria causing massive flooding in the low-lying lake-adjacent areas and disrupting human and natural systems in the Lake Victoria Basin (LVB). The high lake water-level coincided with unusually heavy and prolonged 2019 June to December precipitation in the LVB. The current study estimates future precipitation patterns over the LVB using HighResMIP and ScenarioMIP general circulation model (GCM) simulations from the 6th phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). Results show that HighResMIP and ScenarioMIP simulations can adequately reproduce LVB’s precipitation patterns – albeit with location-specific biases. Generally, the GCM simulations tend to over-estimate precipitation patterns over Lake Victoria while under-estimating precipitation patterns over the lake-adjacent areas. Projections show significant future precipitation changes over the LVB relative to the 1970-1999 baseline, with more pronounced changes over the lake than in lake-adjacent areas. Overall, mean annual precipitation is projected to increase by about 18% and 31% by the end of the century, under SSP2-4.5 and SSP5-8.5 scenarios, respectively. Additionally, mean daily precipitation intensity (SDII) is projected to increase by up-to 14% while the maximum 5-day precipitation values (RX5Day) increase by up-to 71% under the SSP5-8.5 scenario. Heavy precipitation events, represented by the width of the right tail distribution of precipitation (99p-90p), are projected to increase by 50% and 94% under SSP2-4.5 and SSP5-8.5, respectively. Given that direct precipitation accounts for about 80% of Lake Victoria’s water budget, the lake’s future water-level fluctuations are likely to be more rampant and unpredictable under the changing climate. Hence, enhanced production and use of climate services is recommended to minimize the risk posed by potentially high water-level fluctuations in Lake Victoria and, ultimately, enhance the socio-economic safety of communities in the LVB.

Keywords

CMIP6; HighResMIP; ScenarioMIP; Lake Victoria; Climate change; East Africa

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