Space-time variability of evapotranspiration and precipitation in the State of Paraná, Brazil

Abstract Long-term changes in important weather variables such as evapotranspiration (ET) and precipitation are expected as a response to climate change. These changes may require adjustments to current strategies of planning and management of water resources. The objective of this work was to conduct a spatiotemporal characterization of evapotranspiration in the State of Paraná, Brazil, including in this approach a temporal trend analysis. A similar analysis was also conducted for precipitation. Thus, the historical data (1980-2010) from 33 weather stations were analyzed. The spatial distribution of the data was carried out by geostatistical techniques (ordinary kriging) and the trend analysis by the tests Mann-Kendall and Sen. According to the results, evapotranspiration increases from the coast to the interior of the state, with the highest values in the northeast and northwest regions, reaching levels of about 1200 mm yr-1. The temporal variability of the ET presented a significant upward trend in 12% of the locations, with increases from 2.5 to 7.0 mm yr-1. Precipitation was higher in the coastal and south-central regions and the lowest amounts were identified in the northeast and northwest regions. The precipitation trend analysis indicated a significant downward trend in precipitation volume of five locations. The evapotranspiration and precipitation showed, in general, no statistically significant trends in most of the stations analyzed; however, the upward trends for ET and downward trends for precipitation indicate local changes in the State of Paraná.