Abstract

Projected climate change impacts on the hydrological regime and corresponding flood risks were examined for the years 2030 (near-term) and 2050 (long-term), under representative concentration pathways (RCP) 4.5 (moderate) and 8.5 (high) emission scenarios. The United States Army Corps of Engineers' (USACE) Hydrologic Engineering Center's Hydrologic Modeling System was used to simulate the complete hydrologic processes of the various dendritic watershed systems and USACEs' Hydrologic Engineering Center's River Analysis System hydraulic model was used for the two-dimensional unsteady flow flood calculations. Climate projections are based on recent global climate model simulations developed for the International Panel on Climate Change, Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project Phase 5. Hydrographs for frequent (high-recurrence interval) storms were derived from 30-year historical daily precipitation data and decadal projections for both time frames and RCP scenarios. Since the climate projections for each scenario only represented ten years of data, 100-year or 500-year storms cannot be derived. Hence, this novel approach of identifying frequent storms is used as an indicator to compare across the various time frames and climate scenarios. Hydrographs were used to generate inundation maps and results are used to identify vulnerabilities and formulate adaptation strategies to flooding at 43 locations worldwide.

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