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Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 565-578, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-17-565-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
08 Feb 2013
An ensemble approach to assess hydrological models' contribution to uncertainties in the analysis of climate change impact on water resources
J. A. Velázquez1,4, J. Schmid2, S. Ricard3, M. J. Muerth2, B. Gauvin St-Denis1, M. Minville1,5, D. Chaumont1, D. Caya1, R. Ludwig2, and R. Turcotte3 1Consortium Ouranos, Montréal, PQ, Canada
2Department of Geography, University of Munich (LMU), Munich, Germany
3Centre d'expertise hydrique du Québec (CEHQ), Québec, PQ, Canada
4Chaire de recherche EDS en prévisions et actions hydrologiques, Université Laval, Québec, PQ, Canada
5Institut de recherche d'Hydro-Québec, Varennes, PQ, Canada
Abstract. Over the recent years, several research efforts investigated the impact of climate change on water resources for different regions of the world. The projection of future river flows is affected by different sources of uncertainty in the hydro-climatic modelling chain. One of the aims of the QBic3 project (Québec-Bavarian International Collaboration on Climate Change) is to assess the contribution to uncertainty of hydrological models by using an ensemble of hydrological models presenting a diversity of structural complexity (i.e., lumped, semi distributed and distributed models). The study investigates two humid, mid-latitude catchments with natural flow conditions; one located in Southern Québec (Canada) and one in Southern Bavaria (Germany). Daily flow is simulated with four different hydrological models, forced by outputs from regional climate models driven by global climate models over a reference (1971–2000) and a future (2041–2070) period. The results show that, for our hydrological model ensemble, the choice of model strongly affects the climate change response of selected hydrological indicators, especially those related to low flows. Indicators related to high flows seem less sensitive on the choice of the hydrological model.

Citation: Velázquez, J. A., Schmid, J., Ricard, S., Muerth, M. J., Gauvin St-Denis, B., Minville, M., Chaumont, D., Caya, D., Ludwig, R., and Turcotte, R.: An ensemble approach to assess hydrological models' contribution to uncertainties in the analysis of climate change impact on water resources, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 565-578, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-17-565-2013, 2013.
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