Assessing the future effects of climate change on water availability requires an understanding of how precipitation and evapotranspiration rates will respond to changes in atmospheric forcing. Use of simplified hydrological models is required beacause of lack of meteorological forcings with the high space and time resolutions required to model hydrological processes in mountains river basins, and the necessity of reducing the computational costs. The main objective of this study was to quantify the differences between a simplified hydrological model, which uses only precipitation and temperature to compute the hydrological balance when simulating the impact of climate change, and an enhanced version of the model, which solves the energy balance to compute the actual evapotranspiration. For the meteorological forcing of future scenario, at-site bias-corrected time series based on two regional climate models were used. A quantile-based errorcorrection approach was used to downscale the regional climate model simulations to a point scale and to reduce its error characteristics. The study shows that a simple temperature-based approach for computing the evapotranspiration is sufficiently accurate for performing hydrological impact investigations of climate change for the Alpine river basin which was studied.

Investigation of Climate Change Impact on Water Resources for an Alpine Basin in Northern Italy: Implications for Evapotranspiration Modeling Complexity

RAVAZZANI, GIOVANNI;CORBARI, CHIARA;MANCINI, MARCO
2014

Abstract

Assessing the future effects of climate change on water availability requires an understanding of how precipitation and evapotranspiration rates will respond to changes in atmospheric forcing. Use of simplified hydrological models is required beacause of lack of meteorological forcings with the high space and time resolutions required to model hydrological processes in mountains river basins, and the necessity of reducing the computational costs. The main objective of this study was to quantify the differences between a simplified hydrological model, which uses only precipitation and temperature to compute the hydrological balance when simulating the impact of climate change, and an enhanced version of the model, which solves the energy balance to compute the actual evapotranspiration. For the meteorological forcing of future scenario, at-site bias-corrected time series based on two regional climate models were used. A quantile-based errorcorrection approach was used to downscale the regional climate model simulations to a point scale and to reduce its error characteristics. The study shows that a simple temperature-based approach for computing the evapotranspiration is sufficiently accurate for performing hydrological impact investigations of climate change for the Alpine river basin which was studied.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/870148
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