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Hydrological modelling for climate-change impact assessment based on Regional Climate Model results

English title Hydrological modelling for climate-change impact assessment based on Regional Climate Model results
Applicant Seibert Jan
Number 131995
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Geographisches Institut Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Start/End 01.06.2011 - 30.09.2014
Approved amount 189'470.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy

Keywords (8)

Hydrological impacts; Climate change; Downscaling; Uncertainty; Climate change impacts; hydrological modelling; RCM; bias correction

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Climate change is expected to have significant effects on water resources. Increased risks for both floods and droughts have been mentioned as possible consequences of global warming, which in turn can cause damage to infrastructure, agriculture and society at large. However, predicting these impacts for individual rivers (or catchments) remains challenging because scale problems and other uncertainties involved in the various models which are used in hydrological climate change impact studies, from Global Circulation Models (GCMs) over Regional Climate Models (RCMs) to hydrological models. This project will contribute towards assessing climate-change impacts on the temporal variability of catchment runoff, floods and droughts. This will support deciding on appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies. When using climate simulations from RCMs one often is faced by considerable model biases, especially for simulated precipitation, which is both one of the most difficult variables to simulate, and the most important input variable in hydrological studies. It is therefore important to critically evaluate RCM simulations for hydrological studies and to find ways to correct data from RCM simulations before they are used in hydrological models to simulate runoff or other variables such as groundwater levels or soil moisture. Within this project we will evaluate and further develop different approaches for bias correction and ensemble weighting of the output from global and regional climate models for hydrological predictions. The evaluation will be based on an integrated evaluation of different climate variables through hydrological catchment modelling. This will contribute to improve the capability for predicting climate change impacts on runoff and its variability, as well as both droughts and floods. While the aim is to obtain as good hydrological simulations as possible, one has to be aware that these simulations always will be uncertain to some degree. Estimation and evaluation of combined uncertainties of the simulation of catchment-scale impacts of climate change is, thus, an important part of this project.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Bias correction for hydrological impact studies - beyond the daily perspective
Addor Nans, Seibert Jan (2014), Bias correction for hydrological impact studies - beyond the daily perspective, in Hydrological Processes, 28(17), 4823-4828.
Bias correction for hydrological impact studies - beyond the daily perspective
Addor Nans, Seibert Jan (2014), Bias correction for hydrological impact studies - beyond the daily perspective, in Hydrological Processes, 28(17), 4823-4828.
Is bias correction of regional climate model (RCM) simulations possible for non-stationary conditions
Teutschbein Claudia, Seibert Jan (2013), Is bias correction of regional climate model (RCM) simulations possible for non-stationary conditions, in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 17(12), 5061-5077.
Robust changes and sources of uncertainty in the projected hydrological regimes of Swiss catchments
Addor Nans, Rößler Ole, Köplin Nina, Huss Matthias, Weingartner Rolf, Seibert Jan (2013), Robust changes and sources of uncertainty in the projected hydrological regimes of Swiss catchments, in Water Resources Research, 50(10), 7541-7562.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
CH2014-Impacts Teilprojekt (mit Uni Bern, ETH-IAC, WSL) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
AGU fall meeting Poster Fostering climate dialogue by introducing students to uncertainty in decision-making 15.12.2014 San Francisco, United States of America Addor Nans; Ewen Tracy;
AGU fall meeting Talk given at a conference Exploring the links between biases in regional climate models and their representation of synoptic circulation types in the European Alps 15.12.2014 San Francisco, United States of America Seibert Jan; Addor Nans;
5th Annual Pacific Northwest Climate Science Conference Poster Where does the mismatch between climate model simulations and observations come from? Differentiating between natural variability, interpolation errors and model biases 09.09.2014 Seattle, United States of America Addor Nans;
Invited oral presentation at the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute Individual talk Bias-correction for climate impact studies, robust features and uncertainty sources in hydrological projections 07.05.2014 Corvallis OR, United States of America Seibert Jan; Addor Nans;
EGU meeting Poster Creating dialogue: a workshop on “Uncertainty in Decision Making in a Changing Climate”. 28.04.2014 Vienna, Austria Ewen Tracy; Addor Nans;
AGU fall meeting Poster Robustness and uncertainties in future hydrological regimes of Swiss catchments 09.12.2013 San Francisco, United States of America Seibert Jan; Addor Nans;
ETH “C2SM Symposium: The Water Cycle in a Changing Climate 2013” Poster The impacts of a climate-dependent parameterization of a conceptual hydrological model on discharge projections 01.07.2013 Zurich, Switzerland Seibert Jan; Addor Nans;
ETH “C2SM Symposium: The Water Cycle in a Changing Climate 2013” Talk given at a conference Robustness and uncertainties in future hydrological regimes of Swiss catchments 01.07.2013 Zurich, Switzerland Seibert Jan; Addor Nans;
EGU conference Talk given at a conference Can internal climate variability alone explain biases in regional climate simulations? 07.04.2013 Vienna, Austria Seibert Jan; Addor Nans;
EGU conference Talk given at a conference Does it really always rain on the weekend? -­‐ Weekly precipitation cycles in Switzerland 07.04.2013 Vienna, Austria Seibert Jan; Ewen Tracy; Addor Nans;
EGU conference Talk given at a conference An uncertainty assessment of discharge projections for eight Swiss catchments 07.04.2013 Vienna, Austria Addor Nans;
Tag der Hydrologie Talk given at a conference Kann interne Klimavariabilität die systematischen Fehler in regionalen Klimasimulationen erklären? 04.04.2013 Berm, Switzerland Seibert Jan; Addor Nans;
EGU meeting Talk given at a conference Bias-correction conditioned on circulation patterns for ENSEMBLES precipitation simulations in mountainous regions 22.04.2012 Vienna, Austria Addor Nans; Seibert Jan;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
125925 Early recognition of critical drought conditions in Switzerland - coping with shortages in soil moisture, groundwater and runoff (DROUGHT-CH) 01.01.2010 NRP 61 Sustainable Water Management
136279 The evolution of mountain permafrost in Switzerland 01.11.2011 Sinergia
156606 Hydrological climate change impact assessment - addressing the uncertainties (HIMAUI) 01.10.2014 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

This project will contribute towards assessing climate-change impacts on the temporal variability of catchment runoff, floods and droughts. This will support deciding on appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies.Within this project we will evaluate and further develop different approaches for bias correction of the output from global and regional climate models for hydrological predictions. The evaluation will be based on an integrated evaluation of different climate variables through catchment modelling. This will help to improve the capability for predicting climate change impacts on runoff and its variability, as well as both droughts and floods. An important part of this project is the estimation of the combined uncertainties of the simulation of catchment-scale impacts of climate change.
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