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Assessment of Future Climate Trend Based on Multi-RCMs Models and Its Impact on Groundwater Recharge of the Mediterranean Coastal Aquifer of Ghis-Nekkor (Morocco)

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Abstract

The Ghis-Nekkor aquifer is an area highly vulnerable to climate change. Multiple RCMs from CORDEX and RICCAR projects were used in this study to simulate air surface temperature and precipitation changes over the Ghis-Nekkor area. The main objective of this study is to assess the impact of climate change on future groundwater recharge in the Ghis-Nekkor aquifer, based on a deep analysis of available projections from RCMs developed in CORDEX and RICCAR projects. We have focused on the future assessment for the period (2021–2050) and (2051–2080) under the RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios. Additionally, groundwater recharge has been also quantified for the period 1964–2014 based on the observed data. The results of projections from the CORDEX and RICCAR projects produce similar spatial patterns but their characterization of temperature and precipitation are different. It is assumed that it will be on average from multi-RCMs a reduction in precipitation of 17% and an increase in temperature of 0.53 °C by 2050, while by 2080 the average increase of temperature is about 0.9 °C accompanied by a reduction of 22.2% in precipitation. These predicted parameters were subsequently exploited to study future climate change by using the De Martonne aridity index (AI) and the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). The latter predicts an increasingly dry climate for the Ghis-Nekkor area which will be more prone to both moderate and severe droughts, but less prone to extreme drought by 2070. Moreover, the results show also a change of climate regime becoming arid at the level of the plain (AI = 9.92 mm/°C) by 2080. The analysis of the impact of these potential future changes on future groundwater recharge aquifer shows that overall predictions estimate a reduction in mean annual recharge of 18% under the RCP 4.5 scenario and 22% under the RCP 8.5 scenario for the period (2021–2080). Furthermore, the groundwater recharge shows a decreasing trend as a response to changes in precipitation. Lower values of future recharge are expected for the period (2051–2080) and would decrease more under the RCP 8.5 scenario and reach 26%.

Keywords

  • Ghis-Nekkor
  • Climate change
  • RCMs
  • RCP4.5
  • RCP8.5
  • Future climate trend
  • Groundwater recharge

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Source El ASRI et al. (2020)

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Abbreviations

RCM:

Regional Climate Model

CORDEX:

Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment

RICCAR:

Regional Initiative for the Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources and Socio-Economic Vulnerability in the Arab Region

RCA:

Rossby Centre Regional Atmospheric Model

HIRHAM:

High Resolution Atmospheric Model

RCP:

Representative Concentration Pathways

IPCC:

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

GCM:

Global Climate Model

SPI:

Standardized Precipitation Index

AI:

Aridity Index

CMIP5:

The 5th Coupled Model Inter-comparing Project

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Acknowledgements

This research is a part of the PhD of the first author under the supervision of the second author and was funded by the MEDAQCLIM project in the framework of the ERANET-MED programme (FP7). Special Thanks to UN-ESCWA at Beirut who has provided RICCAR Data.

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El Asri, H., Larabi, A., Faouzi, M. (2022). Assessment of Future Climate Trend Based on Multi-RCMs Models and Its Impact on Groundwater Recharge of the Mediterranean Coastal Aquifer of Ghis-Nekkor (Morocco). In: Leal Filho, W., Manolas, E. (eds) Climate Change in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Region. Climate Change Management. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-78566-6_1

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