Climate change impacts on rainfall intensity–duration–frequency curves in local scale catchments

Muyuan Xu, Lelys Bravo de Guenni, José Rafael Córdova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The increasing intensity and frequency of rainfall events, a critical aspect of climate change, pose significant challenges in the construction of intensity–duration–frequency (IDF) curves for climate projection. These curves are crucial for infrastructure development, but the non-stationarity of extreme rainfall raises concerns about their adequacy under future climate conditions. This research addresses these challenges by investigating the reasons behind the IPCC climate report’s evidence about the validity that rainfall follows the Clausius-Clapeyron (CC) relationship, which suggests a 7% increase in precipitation per 1 °C increase in temperature. Our study provides guidelines for adjusting IDF curves in the future, considering both current and future climates. We calculate extreme precipitation changes and scaling factors for small urban catchments in Barranquilla, Colombia, a tropical region, using the bootstrapping method. This reveals the occurrence of a sub-CC relationship, suggesting that the generalized 7% figure may not be universally applicable. In contrast, our comparative analysis with Illinois, USA, an inland city in the north temperate zone, shows adherence to the CC relationship. This emphasizes the need for local parameter calculations rather than relying solely on the generalized 7% figure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number372
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • Bootstrap
  • Clausius-Clapeyron relationship
  • Climate change
  • Climate models
  • IDF curves
  • Rainfall extremes
  • SSP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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