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Forecasting groundwater temperature with linear regression models using historical data

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2015
Author Figura Simon, Livingstone David M., Kipfer Rolf,
Project Response of Swiss groundwaters to climatic forcing and climate change: analysis of the historical instrumental record
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Groundwater
Volume (Issue) 53(6)
Page(s) 943 - 954
Title of proceedings Groundwater
DOI 10.1111/gwat.12289


Although temperature is an important determinant of many biogeochemical processes in groundwater, very few studies have attempted to forecast the response of groundwater temperature to future climate warming. Using a composite linear regression model based on the lagged relationship between historical groundwater and regional air temperature data, empirical forecasts were made of groundwater temperature in several aquifers in Switzerland up to the end of the current century. The model was fed with regional air temperature projections calculated for greenhouse-gas emissions scenarios A2, A1B, and RCP3PD. Model evaluation revealed that the approach taken is adequate only when the data used to calibrate the models are sufficiently long and contain sufficient variability. These conditions were satisfied for three aquifers, all fed by riverbank infiltration. The forecasts suggest that with respect to the reference period 1980 to 2009, groundwater temperature in these aquifers will most likely increase by 1.1 to 3.8 K by the end of the current century, depending on the greenhouse-gas emissions scenario employed.