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Title: HYDROLOGIC RESPONSES OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE KARKHEH RIVER BASIN

Author: F. Hoseini, R. R. Owlia, A. Abrishamchi

Year: 2009

Publisher: European Water Resources Association (EWRA)

Description:

Future of the Karkheh River Basin and its people’s livelihoods clearly depends on natural resources like water, soil, vegetation and livestock. As water is the most limiting natural resource in this basin, any increase in water productivity will almost certainly benefit rural livelihoods. To ensure the sustainability of the improvements in water productivity, assessment of the possible impacts of climate change on hydrology and water resources in the basin is necessary. In this study the potential impacts of climate change on hydrology in the Karkheh
River Basin were assessed using a macroscale hydrology model driven by 21st century simulations of temperature and precipitation downscaled from runs of CGCM2 model with two emissions scenarios (A2 and B2) for 3 periods: (2010-2039), (2040-2069), (2070-2099). At first, the monthly precipitation and temperature output of each GCM was bias-corrected and statistically downscaled to a 1/2° grid using a statistical technique. Then, we forced a hydrologic model using the downscaled data to generate streamflow at strategic points. The hydrologic model used in this study was the variable infiltration capacity (VIC) model. The model was run at a daily time step at a 1/2-degree resolution over the Karkheh River Basin. The downscaled data from each of 2 projected climates were used to force the land surface hydrology model to simulate hydrologic responses in the Karkheh River Basin, which produced projected streamflow at inflow points to major reservoirs. As the results of this study, by 2070-2099 the median warming relative to 1961-1990 was 1.3°C and 1.9°C under B2 and A2 emissions, respectively. For the same periods, the models project median precipitation increases of 7% (B2) and
increases of 11% (A2). Median changes by 2070-2099 in reservoir inflow were 15% (B2) and 21% (A2), with largest flow reductions during the rising limb of the seasonal hydrograph, from April through September.