Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) are vulnerable to the adverse effects of changing climate, especially extreme weather such as heavy precipitation leading to flash floods. A problem in assessing the vulnerability of PSIDS to rising weather and climate extremes is a lack of a high spatial resolution climate projection dataset capable of resolving islands (Mycoo et al., 2022). Current projections using Phase 6 of the Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) dataset are quite coarse to fully capture the complexity and specificities of the small island environments. However, the recent release of the NASA Earth Exchange Global Daily Downscaled Projections (NEX-GDDP-CMIP6) dataset provides researchers with opportunities to explore the impact of weather and climate extremes at higher spatial resolutions of 25 km (Thrasher et al., 2022). Several studies using a similar dataset have been conducted over different regions around the globe without much attention to the PSIDS (Jain et al., 2019, Xu et al., 2021).

Therefore, this project aims to assess the intensity, frequency, and duration of precipitation extremes over the PSIDS using the daily precipitation from the NEX-GDDP-CMIP6 dataset, which can be downloaded and scaled on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for big data analysis using the open-source Python programming language with parallel and distributed computing. The project’s outcomes will identify regions most vulnerable to heavy precipitation over small islands and provide policymakers and stakeholders with an understanding of risks associated with future flooding incidents.

Supervisors: Abhnil Prasad and Steven Sherwood (UNSW, Sydney)


Jain, S., Salunke, P., Mishra, S.K., Sahany, S. and Choudhary, N. (2019) ‘Advantage of NEX-GDDP over CMIP5 and CORDEX Data: Indian Summer Monsoon’, Atmospheric Research, 228, pp. 152-160.

Mycoo, M., Wairiu, M., Campbell, D., Duvat, V., Golbuu, Y., Maharaj, S., Nalau, J., Nunn, P., Pinnegar, J. and Warrick, O. 2022. Small islands.

Thrasher, B., Wang, W., Michaelis, A., Melton, F., Lee, T. and Nemani, R. (2022) ‘NASA Global Daily Downscaled Projections, CMIP6’, Sci Data, 9(1), p. 262.

Xu, L., Wang, A., Yu, W. and Yang, S. (2021) ‘Hot spots of extreme precipitation change under 1.5 and 2 °C global warming scenarios’, Weather and Climate Extremes, 33