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Modelling hydrological consequences of climate change: progress and challenges
University of Oslo, Department of Geosciences .
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Air and Water Science.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Air and Water Science.
2005 (English)In: Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, ISSN 0256-1530, Vol. 22, no 6, 789-797 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The simulation of hydrological consequences of climate change has received increasing attention from the hydrology and land-surface modelling communities. There have been many studies of climate-change effects on hydrology and water resources which usually consist of three steps: (1) use of general circulation models (GCMs) to provide future global climate scenarios under the effect of increasing greenhouse gases, (2) use of downscaling techniques (both nested regional climate models, RCMs, and statistical methods) for "downscaling" the GCM output to the scales compatible with hydrological models, and (3) use of hydrologic models to simulate the effects of climate change on hydrological regimes at various scales. Great progress has been achieved in all three steps during the past few years, however, large uncertainties still exist in every stage of such study. This paper first reviews the present achievements in this field and then discusses the challenges for future studies of the hydrological impacts of climate change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 22, no 6, 789-797 p.
Keyword [en]
climate change, water-resources assessment, water balance, regional scale, hydrological models, review
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-96555DOI: 10.1007/BF02918679ISI: 000233496600003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-96555DiVA: diva2:171169
Available from: 2007-11-23 Created: 2007-11-23 Last updated: 2011-02-25Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Global-Scale Modelling of the Land-Surface Water Balance: Development and Analysis of WASMOD-M
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Global-Scale Modelling of the Land-Surface Water Balance: Development and Analysis of WASMOD-M
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Global modellering av landområdenas vattenbalans : Utveckling och analys av WASMOD-M
Abstract [en]

Water is essential for all life on earth. Global population increase and climate change are projected to increase the water stress, which already today is very high in many areas of the world. The differences between the largest and smallest global runoff estimates exceed the highest continental runoff estimates. These differences, which are caused by different modelling and measurement techniques together with large natural variabilities need to be further addressed. This thesis focuses on global water balance models that calculate global runoff, evaporation and water storage from precipitation and other climate data.

A new global water balance model, WASMOD-M was developed. Already when tuned against the volume error it reasonable produced within-year runoff patterns, but the volume error was not enough to confine the model parameter space. The parameter space and the simulated hydrograph could be better confined with, e.g., the Nash criterion. Calibration against snow-cover data confined the snow parameters better, although some equifinality still persisted. Thus, even the simple WASMOD-M showed signs of being overparameterised.

A simple regionalisation procedure that only utilised proximity contributed to calculate a global runoff estimate in line with earlier estimations. The need for better specifications of global runoff estimates was highlighted.

Global modellers depend on global data-sets that can have low quality in many areas. Major sources of uncertainty are precipitation and river regulation. A new routing method that utilises high-resolution flow network information in low-resolution calculations was developed and shown to perform well over all spatial scales, while the standard linear reservoir routing decreased in performance with decreasing resolution. This algorithm, called aggregated time-delay-histogram routing, is intended for inclusion in WASMOD-M.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2007. 76 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 377
Hydrology, Global, Water balance, Runoff, Regionalisation, Model uncertainty, Multi-objective, Parameter, Evaluation criteria, Routing, Climate change, Hydrologi
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8352 (URN)978-91-554-7051-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-12-14, Axel Hambergsalen, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 10:00
Available from: 2007-11-23 Created: 2007-11-23Bibliographically approved

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