Abstract

The objective of this paper is to assess climate change impacts on spatiotemporal changes in annual and seasonal runoff and its components in the basins of two large European rivers, the Vistula and the Odra, for future horizons. This study makes use of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model, set up at high resolution, and driven by a multi-model ensemble (MME) of nine bias-corrected EURO-CORDEX simulations under two representative concentration pathways (RCPs), 4.5 and 8.5. This paper presents a wealth of illustrative material referring to the annual and seasonal runoff (R) in the reference period as well as projections for the future (MME mean change), with explicit illustration of the multi-model spread based on the agreement between models and statistical significance of change according to each model. Annual R increases are dominating, regardless of RCP and future horizon. The magnitude of the MME mean of spatially averaged increase varies between 15.8% (RCP 4.5, near future) and 41.6% (RCP 8.5, far future). The seasonal patterns show the highest increase in winter and the lowest in spring, whereas the spatial patterns show the highest increase in the inner, lowland part, and the lowest in the southern mountainous part of the basin.

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