Climatic Change

, Volume 136, Issue 3–4, pp 555–570 | Cite as

Projections of climate change effects on discharge and inundation in the Amazon basin

  • Mino Viana SorribasEmail author
  • Rodrigo C. D. Paiva
  • John M. Melack
  • Juan Martin Bravo
  • Charles Jones
  • Leila Carvalho
  • Edward Beighley
  • Bruce Forsberg
  • Marcos Heil Costa


Climate change and its effects on the hydrologic regime of the Amazon basin can impact biogeochemical processes, transportation, flood vulnerability, fisheries and hydropower generation. We examined projections of climate change on discharge and inundation extent in the Amazon basin using the regional hydrological model MGB-IPH with 1-dimensional river hydraulic and water storage simulation in floodplains. Future projections (2070–2099) were obtained from five GCMs from IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report CMIP5. Climate projections have uncertainty and results from different climate models did not agree in total Amazon flooded area or discharge anomalies along the main stem river. Overall, model runs agree better with wetter (drier) conditions over western (eastern) Amazon. Results indicate that increased mean and maximum river discharge for large rivers draining the Andes in the northwest contributes to increased mean and maximum discharge and inundation extent over Peruvian floodplains and Solimões River (annual mean-max: +9 % - +18.3 %) in western Amazonia. Decreased river discharges (mostly dry season) are projected for eastern basins, and decreased inundation extent at low water (annual min) in the central (−15.9 %) and lower Amazon (−4.4 %).


Amazon Basin Water Balance Component Flood Vulnerability Inundation Extent South American Monsoon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The synthetic work for this paper was supported by the Science for Nature and People (SNAP) sponsored by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Nature Conservancy (TNC). SNAP funding was provided by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation (Grant # 2013-38757 & #2014-39828), Ward Woods (Grant # 309519), WCS and TNC. Also we thank the editor and reviewers for comments that improved this paper andWalter Collischonn for advice.

Supplementary material

10584_2016_1640_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (2.4 mb)
ESM 1 (PDF 2.41 mb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mino Viana Sorribas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rodrigo C. D. Paiva
    • 1
  • John M. Melack
    • 2
  • Juan Martin Bravo
    • 1
  • Charles Jones
    • 3
  • Leila Carvalho
    • 3
  • Edward Beighley
    • 4
  • Bruce Forsberg
    • 5
  • Marcos Heil Costa
    • 6
  1. 1.IPH/UFRGS - Instituto de Pesquisas Hidráulicas, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Bren School of Environmental Science and ManagementUniversity of California, Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA
  3. 3.Geography DepartmentUniversity of California, Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA
  4. 4.Civil and Environmental EngineeringNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA
  5. 5.Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da AmazôniaManausBrazil
  6. 6.Universidade Federal de ViçosaViçosaBrazil

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