Modeling hydrological impacts of climate change in different climatic zones

Fasil Ejigu Eregno (Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway and Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway)
Chong‐Yu Xu (Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway)
Nils‐Otto Kitterød (Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway)

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management

ISSN: 1756-8692

Publication date: 26 July 2013

Abstract

Purpose

Recent advances in hydrological impact studies point that the response of specific catchments to climate change scenario using a single model approach is questionable. This study was aimed at investigating the impact of climate change on three river basins in China, Ethiopia and Norway using WASMOD and HBV hydrological models.

Design/methodology/approach

First, hydrological models' parameters were determined using current hydro‐climatic data inputs. Second, the historical time series of climatic data was adjusted according to the climate change scenarios. Third, the hydrological characteristics of the catchments under the adjusted climatic conditions were simulated using the calibrated hydrological models. Finally, comparisons of the model simulations of the current and possible future hydrological characteristics were performed. Responses were evaluated in terms of runoff, actual evapotranspiration and soil moisture change for incremental precipitation and temperature change scenarios.

Findings

From the results obtained, it can be inferred that two equally well calibrated models gave different hydrological response to hypothetical climatic scenarios. The authors' findings support the concern that climate change analysis using lumped hydrological models may lead to unreliable conclusions.

Practical implications

Extrapolation of driving forces (temperature and precipitation) beyond the range of parameter calibration yields unreliable response. It is beyond the scope of this study to reduce this model ambiguity, but reduction of uncertainty is a challenge for further research.

Originality/value

The research was conducted based on the primary time series data using the existing two hydrological models to test the magnitude differences one can expect when using different hydrological models to simulate hydrological response of climate changes in different climate zones.

Keywords

Citation

Ejigu Eregno, F., Xu, C. and Kitterød, N. (2013), "Modeling hydrological impacts of climate change in different climatic zones", International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 344-365. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCCSM-04-2012-0024

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.