Abstract

Catchment scale conceptual hydrological models apply calibration parameters entirely based on observed historical data in the climate change impact assessment. The study used the most advanced machine learning algorithms based on Ensemble Regression and Random Forest models to develop dynamically calibrated factors which can form as a basis for the analysis of hydrological responses under climate change. The Random Forest algorithm was identified as a robust method to model the calibration factors with limited data for training and testing with precipitation, evapotranspiration and uncalibrated runoff based on various performance measures. The developed model was further used to study the runoff response under climate change variability of precipitation and temperatures. A statistical downscaling model based on K-means clustering, Classification and Regression Trees and Support Vector Regression was used to develop the precipitation and temperature projections based on MIROC GCM outputs with the RCP 4.5 scenario. The proposed modelling framework has been demonstrated on a semi-arid river basin of peninsular India, Krishna River Basin (KRB). The basin outlet runoff was predicted to decrease (13.26%) for future scenarios under climate change due to an increase in temperature (0.6 °C) compared to a precipitation increase (13.12%) resulting in an overall reduction in water availability over KRB.

Highlights

  • Catchment parameter estimation dynamically with precipitation, evapotranspiration and runoff using machine learning algorithms.

  • Statistical downscaling model to relate climate and hydrological variables using machine learning algorithms.

  • Assessment of hydrological responses under climate change of a semi-arid river basin of India.

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