Describing long-term trends in precipitation using generalized additive models
Underwood, F. M. (2009) Describing long-term trends in precipitation using generalized additive models. Journal of Hydrology, 364 (3-4). pp. 285-297. ISSN 0022-1694
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2008.11.003
With the current concern over climate change, descriptions of how rainfall patterns are changing over time can be useful. Observations of daily rainfall data over the last few decades provide information on these trends. Generalized linear models are typically used to model patterns in the occurrence and intensity of rainfall. These models describe rainfall patterns for an average year but are more limited when describing long-term trends, particularly when these are potentially non-linear. Generalized additive models (GAMS) provide a framework for modelling non-linear relationships by fitting smooth functions to the data. This paper describes how GAMS can extend the flexibility of models to describe seasonal patterns and long-term trends in the occurrence and intensity of daily rainfall using data from Mauritius from 1962 to 2001. Smoothed estimates from the models provide useful graphical descriptions of changing rainfall patterns over the last 40 years at this location. GAMS are particularly helpful when exploring non-linear relationships in the data. Care is needed to ensure the choice of smooth functions is appropriate for the data and modelling objectives. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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