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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-381
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-381
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 21 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 21 Jan 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Geo-climatic hazards in the eastern subtropical Andes: Distribution, Climate Drivers and Trends

Iván Vergara1, Stella M. Moreiras2,3, Diego Araneo2,3, and René Garreaud4,5 Iván Vergara et al.
  • 1CONICET-IPATEC, Bariloche, 8400, Argentina
  • 2CONICET-IANIGLA, Mendoza, 5500, Argentina
  • 3National University of Cuyo, Mendoza, 5502, Argentina
  • 4University of Chile, Santiago, 8330015, Chile
  • 5Center for Climate and Resilience Research, Santiago, 8320198, Chile

Abstract. Detection and understanding of historical changes in the frequency of geo-climatic hazards (G-CHs) is crucial for the quantification of current hazard and their future projection. Here we focus in the eastern subtropical Andes (32–33° S), using meteorological data and a century-long inventory on 553 G-CHs triggered by rainfall or snowfall. First we analysed their spatio-temporal distributions and the role of climate variability on the year-to-year changes in the number of days with G-CHs. Precipitation is positively correlated with the number of G-CHs across the region and year-round; mean temperature is negatively correlated with snowfall-driven hazards in the western (higher) half of the study region during winter, and with rainfall-driven hazards in the eastern zone during summer. The trends of the G-CHs frequency since the mid-20th century were calculated taking cautions for their non-systematic monitoring. The G-CHs series for the different triggers, zones and seasons were generally stationary. Nonetheless, there is a small positive trend in rainfall-driven G-CHs in the eastern zone during summer congruent with a rainfall increase there. We also found a decrease in snowfall-driven G-CHs in the western zone since the late 1990's onwards, most likely due to a reduction in winter precipitation rather than an increase in temperature.

Iván Vergara et al.

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Short summary
Geo-climatic hazards usually cause large losses of human life as economic losses. As they are very susceptible to weather, in many regions of the world these hazards are changing their frequency and magnitude due to current climate change. The purpose of this paper was to understand if in the subtropical Andes of Argentina these phenomena are increasing or decreasing, and subsequently to understand the causes of these possible changes.
Geo-climatic hazards usually cause large losses of human life as economic losses. As they are...
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