, Volume 81, Issue 1 Supplement, pp 97-122
Date: 23 Mar 2007

On interpreting hydrological change from regional climate models

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Abstract

Although representation of hydrology is included in all regional climate models (RCMs), the utility of hydrological results from RCMs varies considerably from model to model. Studies to evaluate and compare the hydrological components of a suite of RCMs and their use in assessing hydrological impacts from future climate change were carried out over Europe. This included using different methods to transfer RCM runoff directly to river discharge and coupling different RCMs to offline hydrological models using different methods to transfer the climate change signal between models. The work focused on drainage areas to the Baltic Basin, the Bothnian Bay Basin and the Rhine Basin. A total of 20 anthropogenic climate change scenario simulations from 11 different RCMs were used. One conclusion is that choice of GCM (global climate model) has a larger impact on projected hydrological change than either selection of emissions scenario or RCM used for downscaling.