Uncertainty in climate change impacts on basin-scale freshwater resources – preface to the special issue: the QUEST-GSI methodology and synthesis of results
1Department of Geography, University of Sussex, UK
2Department of Geography, UCL, UK
3Climate Research Unit, University of East Anglia, UK
4Department of Geography, University of Otago, New Zealand
5Walker Institute for Climate System Research, University of Reading, UK
Abstract. This paper presents a preface to this Special Issue on the results of the QUEST-GSI (Global Scale Impacts) project on climate change impacts on catchment scale water resources. A detailed description of the unified methodology, subsequently used in all studies in this issue, is provided. The project method involved running simulations of catchment-scale hydrology using a unified set of past and future climate scenarios, to enable a consistent analysis of the climate impacts around the globe. These scenarios include "policy-relevant" prescribed warming scenarios. This is followed by a synthesis of the key findings. Overall, the studies indicate that in most basins the models project substantial changes to river flow, beyond that observed in the historical record, but that in many cases there is considerable uncertainty in the magnitude and sign of the projected changes. The implications of this for adaptation activities are discussed.