Assessment of future climate change impacts on the hydrological regime of selected Greek areas with different climate conditions
Assessment of future variations of streamflow is essential for research regarding climate and climate change. This study is focused on three agricultural areas widespread in Greece and aims to assess the future response of annual and seasonal streamflow and its impacts on the hydrological regime, in combination with other fundamental aspects of the hydrological cycle in areas with different climate classification. ArcSWAT ArcGIS extension was used to simulate the future responses of streamflow. Future meteorological data were obtained from various regional climate models, and analysed for the periods 2021–2050 and 2071–2100. In all the examined areas, streamflow is expected to be reduced. Areas characterized by continental climate will face minor reductions by the mid-century that will become very intense by the end and thus these areas will become more resistant to future changes. Autumn season will face the strongest reductions. Areas characterized by Mediterranean conditions will be very vulnerable in terms of future climate change and winter runoff will face the most significant decreases. Reduced precipitation is the main reason for decreased streamflow. High values of actual evapotranspiration by the end of the century will act as an inhibitor towards reduced runoff and partly counterbalance the water losses.