Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 4.256 IF 4.256
  • IF 5-year value: 4.819 IF 5-year 4.819
  • CiteScore value: 4.10 CiteScore 4.10
  • SNIP value: 1.412 SNIP 1.412
  • SJR value: 2.023 SJR 2.023
  • IPP value: 3.97 IPP 3.97
  • h5-index value: 58 h5-index 58
  • Scimago H index value: 99 Scimago H index 99
Volume 14, issue 7 | Copyright

Special issue: Climate change and water resources management in mountains

Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 1247-1258, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-14-1247-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  15 Jul 2010

15 Jul 2010

Uncertainties in climate change projections and regional downscaling in the tropical Andes: implications for water resources management

W. Buytaert1, M. Vuille2, A. Dewulf3, R. Urrutia4, A. Karmalkar5, and R. Célleri6 W. Buytaert et al.
  • 1Imperial College London, Civil and Environmental Engineering, London, UK
  • 2Univ. at Albany, State Univ. of New York, Dept. of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, Albany, USA
  • 3Wageningen Univ., Public Administration and Policy Group, Wageningen, The Netherlands
  • 4Univ. Austral de Chile, Laboratorio de dendrocronología, Valdivia, Chile
  • 5Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst, Climate System Research Center, Amherst, USA
  • 6Univ. de Cuenca, Centro para el Análisis de Sistemas Naturales, Cuenca, Ecuador

Abstract. Climate change is expected to have a large impact on water resources worldwide. A major problem in assessing the potential impact of a changing climate on these resources is the difference in spatial scale between available climate change projections and water resources management. Regional climate models (RCMs) are often used for the spatial disaggregation of the outputs of global circulation models. However, RCMs are time-intensive to run and typically only a small number of model runs is available for a certain region of interest. This paper investigates the value of the improved representation of local climate processes by a regional climate model for water resources management in the tropical Andes of Ecuador. This region has a complex hydrology and its water resources are under pressure. Compared to the IPCC AR4 model ensemble, the regional climate model PRECIS does indeed capture local gradients better than global models, but locally the model is prone to large discrepancies between observed and modelled precipitation. It is concluded that a further increase in resolution is necessary to represent local gradients properly. Furthermore, to assess the uncertainty in downscaling, an ensemble of regional climate models should be implemented. Finally, translating the climate variables to streamflow using a hydrological model constitutes a smaller but not negligible source of uncertainty.

Publications Copernicus
Special issue
Download
Citation
Share