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Climate Change Impact on Agricultural Water Resources Variability in the Northern Highlands of Ethiopia

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Abstract

The economy of Ethiopia mainly depends on agriculture, and this in turn largely depends on available water resources. A major effect of climate change is likely to be alterations in hydrologic cycles and changes in water availability. This chapter reports the use of global climate models (GCM’s) and application of a hydrological model to investigate agricultural water resources’ sensitivity to climate change in the Lake Tana Basin, Ethiopia. Projected changes in precipitation and temperature in the basin for two future seasons (2046–2065 and 2080–2100) were analyzed using outputs from fifteen GCMs. A historical-modification procedure was used to downscale large scale outputs from four GCM models to watershed-scale climate data. The study then investigated how these changes in temperature and precipitation might translate into changes in streamflow and other hydrological components using SWAT model. We interpret the different aspects of the hydrological responses to imply that changes in runoff and other hydrological variables could be significant, even though the GCMs do not agree on the direction of the change indicating high uncertainty.

Keywords

  • Climate change impact
  • Lake Tana
  • SWAT
  • Hydrological modeling
  • GCM
  • Downscaling
  • SRES

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Correspondence to Shimelis G. Setegn .

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Setegn, S.G., Rayner, D., Melesse, A.M., Dargahi, B., Srinivasan, R., Wörman, A. (2011). Climate Change Impact on Agricultural Water Resources Variability in the Northern Highlands of Ethiopia. In: Melesse, A.M. (eds) Nile River Basin. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0689-7_12

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