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    Are we using the right fuel to drive hydrological models? A climate impact study in the Upper Blue Nile
    (Göttingen : Copernicus GmbH, 2018) Liersch, S.; Tecklenburg, J.; Rust, H.; Dobler, A.; Fischer, M.; Kruschke, T.; Koch, H.; Hattermann, F.F.
    Climate simulations are the fuel to drive hydrological models that are used to assess the impacts of climate change and variability on hydrological parameters, such as river discharges, soil moisture, and evapotranspiration. Unlike with cars, where we know which fuel the engine requires, we never know in advance what unexpected side effects might be caused by the fuel we feed our models with. Sometimes we increase the fuel's octane number (bias correction) to achieve better performance and find out that the model behaves differently but not always as was expected or desired. This study investigates the impacts of projected climate change on the hydrology of the Upper Blue Nile catchment using two model ensembles consisting of five global CMIP5 Earth system models and 10 regional climate models (CORDEX Africa). WATCH forcing data were used to calibrate an eco-hydrological model and to bias-correct both model ensembles using slightly differing approaches. On the one hand it was found that the bias correction methods considerably improved the performance of average rainfall characteristics in the reference period (1970-1999) in most of the cases. This also holds true for non-extreme discharge conditions between Q20 and Q80. On the other hand, bias-corrected simulations tend to overemphasize magnitudes of projected change signals and extremes. A general weakness of both uncorrected and bias-corrected simulations is the rather poor representation of high and low flows and their extremes, which were often deteriorated by bias correction. This inaccuracy is a crucial deficiency for regional impact studies dealing with water management issues and it is therefore important to analyse model performance and characteristics and the effect of bias correction, and eventually to exclude some climate models from the ensemble. However, the multi-model means of all ensembles project increasing average annual discharges in the Upper Blue Nile catchment and a shift in seasonal patterns, with decreasing discharges in June and July and increasing discharges from August to November.
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    Deforestation in Amazonia impacts riverine carbon dynamics
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2016) Langerwisch, Fanny; Walz, Ariane; Rammig, Anja; Tietjen, Britta; Thonicke, Kirsten; Cramer, Wolfgang
    Fluxes of organic and inorganic carbon within the Amazon basin are considerably controlled by annual flooding, which triggers the export of terrigenous organic material to the river and ultimately to the Atlantic Ocean. The amount of carbon imported to the river and the further conversion, transport and export of it depend on temperature, atmospheric CO2, terrestrial productivity and carbon storage, as well as discharge. Both terrestrial productivity and discharge are influenced by climate and land use change. The coupled LPJmL and RivCM model system (Langerwisch et al., 2016) has been applied to assess the combined impacts of climate and land use change on the Amazon riverine carbon dynamics. Vegetation dynamics (in LPJmL) as well as export and conversion of terrigenous carbon to and within the river (RivCM) are included. The model system has been applied for the years 1901 to 2099 under two deforestation scenarios and with climate forcing of three SRES emission scenarios, each for five climate models. We find that high deforestation (business-as-usual scenario) will strongly decrease (locally by up to 90%) riverine particulate and dissolved organic carbon amount until the end of the current century. At the same time, increase in discharge leaves net carbon transport during the first decades of the century roughly unchanged only if a sufficient area is still forested. After 2050 the amount of transported carbon will decrease drastically. In contrast to that, increased temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration determine the amount of riverine inorganic carbon stored in the Amazon basin. Higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations increase riverine inorganic carbon amount by up to 20% (SRES A2). The changes in riverine carbon fluxes have direct effects on carbon export, either to the atmosphere via outgassing or to the Atlantic Ocean via discharge. The outgassed carbon will increase slightly in the Amazon basin, but can be regionally reduced by up to 60% due to deforestation. The discharge of organic carbon to the ocean will be reduced by about 40% under the most severe deforestation and climate change scenario. These changes would have local and regional consequences on the carbon balance and habitat characteristics in the Amazon basin itself as well as in the adjacent Atlantic Ocean.
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    Comparing impacts of climate change on streamflow in four large African river basins
    (Göttingen : Copernicus GmbH, 2014) Aich, V.; Liersch, S.; Vetter, T.; Huang, S.; Tecklenburg, J.; Hoffmann, P.; Koch, H.; Fournet, S.; Krysanova, V.; Müller, E.N.; Hattermann, F.F.
    This study aims to compare impacts of climate change on streamflow in four large representative African river basins: the Niger, the Upper Blue Nile, the Oubangui and the Limpopo. We set up the eco-hydrological model SWIM (Soil and Water Integrated Model) for all four basins individually. The validation of the models for four basins shows results from adequate to very good, depending on the quality and availability of input and calibration data.

    For the climate impact assessment, we drive the model with outputs of five bias corrected Earth system models of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) for the representative concentration pathways (RCPs) 2.6 and 8.5. This climate input is put into the context of climate trends of the whole African continent and compared to a CMIP5 ensemble of 19 models in order to test their representativeness. Subsequently, we compare the trends in mean discharges, seasonality and hydrological extremes in the 21st century. The uncertainty of results for all basins is high. Still, climate change impact is clearly visible for mean discharges but also for extremes in high and low flows. The uncertainty of the projections is the lowest in the Upper Blue Nile, where an increase in streamflow is most likely. In the Niger and the Limpopo basins, the magnitude of trends in both directions is high and has a wide range of uncertainty. In the Oubangui, impacts are the least significant. Our results confirm partly the findings of previous continental impact analyses for Africa. However, contradictory to these studies we find a tendency for increased streamflows in three of the four basins (not for the Oubangui). Guided by these results, we argue for attention to the possible risks of increasing high flows in the face of the dominant water scarcity in Africa. In conclusion, the study shows that impact intercomparisons have added value to the adaptation discussion and may be used for setting up adaptation plans in the context of a holistic approach.
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    Global cotton production under climate change – Implications for yield and water consumption
    (Munich : EGU, 2021) Jans, Yvonne; von Bloh, Werner; Schaphoff, Sibyll; Müller, Christoph
    Being an extensively produced natural fiber on earth, cotton is of importance for economies. Although the plant is broadly adapted to varying environments, the growth of and irrigation water demand on cotton may be challenged by future climate change. To study the impacts of climate change on cotton productivity in different regions across the world and the irrigation water requirements related to it, we use the process-based, spatially detailed biosphere and hydrology model LPJmL (Lund Potsdam Jena managed land). We find our modeled cotton yield levels in good agreement with reported values and simulated water consumption of cotton production similar to published estimates. Following the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP) protocol, we employ an ensemble of five general circulation models under four representative concentration pathways (RCPs) for the 2011 2099 period to simulate future cotton yields. We find that irrigated cotton production does not suffer from climate change if CO2 effects are considered, whereas rainfed production is more sensitive to varying climate conditions. Considering the overall effect of a changing climate and CO2 fertilization, cotton production on current cropland steadily increases for most of the RCPs. Starting from _ 65 million tonnes in 2010, cotton production for RCP4.5 and RCP6.0 equates to 83 and 92 million tonnes at the end of the century, respectively. Under RCP8.5, simulated global cotton production rises by more than 50% by 2099. Taking only climate change into account, projected cotton production considerably shrinks in most scenarios, by up to one-Third or 43 million tonnes under RCP8.5. The simulation of future virtual water content (VWC) of cotton grown under elevated CO2 results for all scenarios in less VWC compared to ambient CO2 conditions. Under RCP6.0 and RCP8.5, VWC is notably decreased by more than 2000m3 t1 in areas where cotton is produced under purely rainfed conditions. By 2040, the average global VWC for cotton declines in all scenarios from currently 3300 to 3000m3 t1, and reduction continues by up to 30% in 2100 under RCP8.5. While the VWC decreases by the CO2 effect, elevated temperature acts in the opposite direction. Ignoring beneficial CO2 effects, global VWC of cotton would increase for all RCPs except RCP2.6, reaching more than 5000m3 t1 by the end of the simulation period under RCP8.5. Given the economic relevance of cotton production, climate change poses an additional stress and deserves special attention. Changes in VWC and water demands for cotton production are of special importance, as cotton production is known for its intense water consumption. The implications of climate impacts on cotton production on the one hand and the impact of cotton production on water resources on the other hand illustrate the need to assess how future climate change may affect cotton production and its resource requirements. Our results should be regarded as optimistic, because of high uncertainty with respect to CO2 fertilization and the lack of implementing processes of boll abscission under heat stress. Still, the inclusion of cotton in LPJmL allows for various large-scale studies to assess impacts of climate change on hydrological factors and the implications for agricultural production and carbon sequestration. © 2021 BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved.
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    Resolving ecological feedbacks on the ocean carbon sink in Earth system models
    (Göttingen : Copernicus Publ., 2021) Armstrong McKay, David I.; Cornell, Sarah E.; Richardson, Katherine; Rockström, Johan
    The Earth's oceans are one of the largest sinks in the Earth system for anthropogenic CO2 emissions, acting as a negative feedback on climate change. Earth system models project that climate change will lead to a weakening ocean carbon uptake rate as warm water holds less dissolved CO2 and as biological productivity declines. However, most Earth system models do not incorporate the impact of warming on bacterial remineralisation and rely on simplified representations of plankton ecology that do not resolve the potential impact of climate change on ecosystem structure or elemental stoichiometry. Here, we use a recently developed extension of the cGEnIE (carbon-centric Grid Enabled Integrated Earth system model), ecoGEnIE, featuring a trait-based scheme for plankton ecology (ECOGEM), and also incorporate cGEnIE's temperature-dependent remineralisation (TDR) scheme. This enables evaluation of the impact of both ecological dynamics and temperature-dependent remineralisation on particulate organic carbon (POC) export in response to climate change. We find that including TDR increases cumulative POC export relative to default runs due to increased nutrient recycling (+∼1.3 %), whereas ECOGEM decreases cumulative POC export by enabling a shift to smaller plankton classes (−∼0.9 %). However, interactions with carbonate chemistry cause opposite sign responses for the carbon sink in both cases: TDR leads to a smaller sink relative to default runs (−∼1.0 %), whereas ECOGEM leads to a larger sink (+∼0.2 %). Combining TDR and ECOGEM results in a net strengthening of POC export (+∼0.1 %) and a net reduction in carbon sink (−∼0.7 %) relative to default. These results illustrate the degree to which ecological dynamics and biodiversity modulate the strength of the biological pump, and demonstrate that Earth system models need to incorporate ecological complexity in order to resolve non-linear climate–biosphere feedbacks.
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    The challenge to detect and attribute effects of climate change on human and natural systems
    (Dordrecht [u.a.] : Springer, 2013) Stone, D.; Auffhammer, M.; Carey, M.; Hansen, G.; Huggel, C.; Cramer, W.; Lobell, D.; Molau, U.; Solow, A.; Tibig, L.; Yohe, G.
    Anthropogenic climate change has triggered impacts on natural and human systems world-wide, yet the formal scientific method of detection and attribution has been only insufficiently described. Detection and attribution of impacts of climate change is a fundamentally cross-disciplinary issue, involving concepts, terms, and standards spanning the varied requirements of the various disciplines. Key problems for current assessments include the limited availability of long-term observations, the limited knowledge on processes and mechanisms involved in changing environmental systems, and the widely different concepts applied in the scientific literature. In order to facilitate current and future assessments, this paper describes the current conceptual framework of the field and outlines a number of conceptual challenges. Based on this, it proposes workable cross-disciplinary definitions, concepts, and standards. The paper is specifically intended to serve as a baseline for continued development of a consistent cross-disciplinary framework that will facilitate integrated assessment of the detection and attribution of climate change impacts.
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    Assessment of climate change impacts on water resources in three representative ukrainian catchments using eco-hydrological modelling
    (Basel : MDPI AG, 2017) Didovets, I.; Lobanova, A.; Bronstert, A.; Snizhko, S.; Maule, C.F.; Krysanova, V.
    The information about climate change impact on river discharge is vitally important for planning adaptation measures. The future changes can affect different water-related sectors. The main goal of this study was to investigate the potential water resource changes in Ukraine, focusing on three mesoscale river catchments (Teteriv, UpperWestern Bug, and Samara) characteristic for different geographical zones. The catchment scale watershed model-Soil and Water Integrated Model (SWIM)-was setup, calibrated, and validated for the three catchments under consideration. A set of seven GCM-RCM (General Circulation Model-Regional Climate Model) coupled climate scenarios corresponding to RCPs (Representative Concentration Pathways) 4.5 and 8.5 were used to drive the hydrological catchment model. The climate projections, used in the study, were considered as three combinations of low, intermediate, and high end scenarios. Our results indicate the shifts in the seasonal distribution of runoff in all three catchments. The spring high flow occurs earlier as a result of temperature increases and earlier snowmelt. The fairly robust trend is an increase in river discharge in the winter season, and most of the scenarios show a potential decrease in river discharge in the spring.
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    Effect of climate change on hydrology, sediment and nutrient losses in two lowland catchments in Poland
    (Basel : MDPI AG, 2017) Marcinkowski, P.; Piniewski, M.; Kardel, I.; Szcześniak, M.; Benestad, R.; Srinivasan, R.; Ignar, S.; Okruszko, T.
    Future climate change is projected to have significant impact on water resources availability and quality in many parts of the world. The objective of this paper is to assess the effect of projected climate change on water quantity and quality in two lowland catchments (the Upper Narew and the Barycz) in Poland in two future periods (near future: 2021-2050, and far future: 2071-2100). The hydrological model SWAT was driven by climate forcing data from an ensemble of nine bias-corrected General Circulation Models-Regional Climate Models (GCM-RCM) runs based on the Coordinated Downscaling Experiment-European Domain (EURO-CORDEX). Hydrological response to climate warming and wetter conditions (particularly in winter and spring) in both catchments includes: lower snowmelt, increased percolation and baseflow and higher runoff. Seasonal differences in the response between catchments can be explained by their properties (e.g., different thermal conditions and soil permeability). Projections suggest only moderate increases in sediment loss, occurring mainly in summer and winter. A sharper increase is projected in both catchments for TN losses, especially in the Barycz catchment characterized by a more intensive agriculture. The signal of change in annual TP losses is blurred by climate model uncertainty in the Barycz catchment, whereas a weak and uncertain increase is projected in the Upper Narew catchment.