2023 – Climate Change – Estimating Changes to Design Rainfall Data for Water and Tailings Dams Globally

Matthew Ind

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its sixth assessment report (AR6) in 2022, affirming that a key impact of rising global temperatures would be increased rainfall variability and severity of heavy precipitation. This paper presents a method for estimating the impact of climate change on design rainfall data for global locations. The data used in this method is based on modelling from AR6 and presented by the World Bank. A working case study is provided a location in Papua New Guinea to demonstrate the application of this method on these location’s design rainfall depth-frequency-duration estimates. The method has also been applied to other global sites and the outcomes of the analysis for these locations are summarised for a comparison. The paper also discusses implications of climate change on the probable maximum precipitation design data and how consideration of climate change impact on design rainfall data can be considered in the engineering design process.

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