Impact assessment of multiple uncertainty sources on high flows under climate change

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

This paper aims to investigate the uncertainty ranges of high flows under climate change in Jinhua River basin, eastern China. Four representative concentration pathways (RCPs), three global climate models (GCMs), 10 downscaling parameter sets and three hydrologic models are applied to simulate future discharges. Changes of annual maximum discharges are assessed for the baseline period (1961–1990) and future period (2011–2040). The uncertainties of annual maximum discharges are calculated for each uncertainty source and compared with different combinations of them. The minimum temperature will probably increase all year round in the future period and maximum temperature would increase in most cases. The changes of precipitation showed different directions by different models and emission scenarios. The annual maximum discharges would decrease for all RCPs. The order of uncertainty ranges of high flows due to different uncertainty sources from high to low is: hydrologic models, GCMs, parameter sets in the downscaling method and emission scenarios. It must be noted that the small uncertainty contribution from different emission scenarios is due to the study period when the differences in increase of radiative forcing and greenhouse gas concentration are less obvious between different RCPs compared to the second half of the 21st century.

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