We analyze the importance of regional climate models (GCM-RCMs) and model output statistics (MOS) methods as uncertainty sources for future changes of various hydrological variables in Scandinavia. The Hydrological Predictions for the Environment (HYPE) model, driven with daily mean temperature and precipitation, is used to simulate changes in river discharges and other hydrological components from the present-day climate (1980–2009) to mid-21st century conditions (2041–2070). The results show that GCM-RCM differences explain most of the spread in the simulated changes in the annual mean cycle of river discharge. At seasonal level, MOS-method uncertainties are most important during the winter and spring, which is likely explained by the sensitivity of snow processes to the representation of daily variability in the MOS methods. To gain physical insights into the physical processes, the relative importance of changes to temperature or precipitation on changes in surface hydrology are also assessed. In most regions of Scandinavia, changes to temperature explain most of the changes in river discharge volumes and spring peaks. Precipitation changes only have a secondary role in modulating these changes. Again, these results are mostly explained by changes in snow processes in winter and increases in evapotranspiration in summer.
Regional climate model and model output statistics method uncertainties and the effect of temperature and precipitation on future river discharges in Scandinavia
Olle Räty, Hanna Virta, Thomas Bosshard, Chantal Donnelly; Regional climate model and model output statistics method uncertainties and the effect of temperature and precipitation on future river discharges in Scandinavia. Hydrology Research 1 October 2017; 48 (5): 1363–1377. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/nh.2017.127
Download citation file: