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Rainfall trends in Fiji



In this article we examine trends in rainfall in the Fiji, using records from 14 stations in Fiji. These records cover more stations and significantly longer periods (>90 years for several stations) than those used in any previous studies. We find that over a period of nearly 100 years there is high interannual variability but no significant long-term trend in annual rainfall in Fiji in either ‘wet-side’ or ‘dry-side’ stations. This result is consistent with the more restricted results of almost all previous studies. We also find no significant trends in ‘wet season’ and ‘dry season’ rainfall, considered separately. Thus unlike temperature data, rainfall data from Fiji provides little evidence of long-term climate change. There is an indication that the few dry seasons with rainfall more than one standard deviation below the mean have occurred more frequently in the most recent 50 years than in the previous 50. Our results confirm that there is a significant influence of the El Niño Southern Oscillation on rainfall in Fiji, especially on the ‘dry’ side of the larger islands. However, we find that the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) does not modulate the correlation between rainfall in Fiji and the Southern Oscillation Index; contrary to the case in eastern Australia, this correlation is strongly positive for all phases of the IPO.

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