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The Vulnerability, Impacts, Adaptation and Climate Services Advisory Board (VIACS AB v1.0) contribution to CMIP6

2016, Ruane, Alex C., Teichmann, Claas, Arnell, Nigel W., Carter, Timothy R., Ebi, Kristie L., Frieler, Katja, Goodess, Clare M., Hewitson, Bruce, Horton, Radley, Kovats, R. Sari, Lotze, Heike K., Mearns, Linda O., Navarra, Antonio, Ojima, Dennis S., Riahi, Keywan, Rosenzweig, Cynthia, Themessl, Matthias, Vincent, Katharine

This paper describes the motivation for the creation of the Vulnerability, Impacts, Adaptation and Climate Services (VIACS) Advisory Board for the Sixth Phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6), its initial activities, and its plans to serve as a bridge between climate change applications experts and climate modelers. The climate change application community comprises researchers and other specialists who use climate information (alongside socioeconomic and other environmental information) to analyze vulnerability, impacts, and adaptation of natural systems and society in relation to past, ongoing, and projected future climate change. Much of this activity is directed toward the co-development of information needed by decision-makers for managing projected risks. CMIP6 provides a unique opportunity to facilitate a two-way dialog between climate modelers and VIACS experts who are looking to apply CMIP6 results for a wide array of research and climate services objectives. The VIACS Advisory Board convenes leaders of major impact sectors, international programs, and climate services to solicit community feedback that increases the applications relevance of the CMIP6-Endorsed Model Intercomparison Projects (MIPs). As an illustration of its potential, the VIACS community provided CMIP6 leadership with a list of prioritized climate model variables and MIP experiments of the greatest interest to the climate model applications community, indicating the applicability and societal relevance of climate model simulation outputs. The VIACS Advisory Board also recommended an impacts version of Obs4MIPs and indicated user needs for the gridding and processing of model output.

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Compiling geophysical and geological information into a 3-D model of the glacially-affected island of Föhr

2012, Burschil, T., Scheer, W., Kirsch, R., Wiederhold, H.

Within the scope of climatic change and associated sea level rise, coastal aquifers are endangered and are becoming more a focus of research to ensure the future water supply in coastal areas. For groundwater modelling a good understanding of the geological/hydrogeological situation and the aquifer behavior is necessary. In preparation of groundwater modelling and assessment of climate change impacts on coastal water resources, we setup a geological/hydrogeological model for the North Sea Island of Föhr. Data from different geophysical methods applied from the air, the surface and in boreholes contribute to the 3-D model, e.g. airborne electromagnetics (SkyTEM) for spatial mapping the resistivity of the entire island, seismic reflections for detailed cross-sections in the groundwater catchment area, and geophysical borehole logging for calibration of these measurements. An iterative and integrated evaluation of the results from the different geophysical methods contributes to reliable data as input for the 3-D model covering the whole island and not just the well fields. The complex subsurface structure of the island is revealed. The local waterworks use a freshwater body embedded in saline groundwater. Several glaciations reordered the youngest Tertiary and Quaternary sediments by glaciotectonic thrust faulting, as well as incision and refill of glacial valleys. Both subsurface structures have a strong impact on the distribution of freshwater-bearing aquifers. A digital geological 3-D model reproduces the hydrogeological structure of the island as a base for a groundwater model. In the course of the data interpretation, we deliver a basis for rock identification. We demonstrate that geophysical investigation provide petrophysical parameters and improve the understanding of the subsurface and the groundwater system. The main benefit of our work is that the successful combination of electromagnetic, seismic and borehole data reveals the complex geology of a glacially-affected island. A sound understanding of the subsurface structure and the compilation of a 3-D model is imperative and the basis for a groundwater flow model to predict climate change effects on future water resources.

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Potential climate change impacts on the water balance of subcatchments of the River Spree, Germany

2012, Pohle, I., Koch, H., Grünewald, U.

Lusatia is considered one of the driest regions of Germany. The climatic water balance is negative even under current climate conditions. Due to global climate change, increased temperatures and a shift of precipitation from summer to winter are expected. Therefore, it is of major interest whether the excess water in winter can be stored and to which extent it is used up on increasing evapotranspiration. Thus, this study focuses on estimating potential climate change impacts on the water balance of two subcatchments of the River Spree using the Soil and Water Integrated Model (SWIM). Climate input was taken from 100 realisations each of two scenarios of the STatistical Analogue Resampling scheme STAR assuming a further temperature increase of 0 K (scenario A) and 2 K by the year 2055 (scenario B) respectively. Resulting from increased temperatures and a shift in precipitation from summer to winter actual evapotranspiration is supposed to increase in winter and early spring, but to decrease in later spring and early summer. This is less pronounced for scenario A than for scenario B. Consequently, also the decrease in discharge and groundwater recharge in late spring is lower for scenario A than for scenario B. The highest differences of runoff generation and groundwater recharge between the two scenarios but also the highest ranges within the scenarios occur in summer and early autumn. It is planned to estimate potential climate change for the catchments of Spree, Schwarze Elster and Lusatian Neisse.

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The impact of climate change and variability on the generation of electrical power

2015, Koch, H., Vögele, S., Hattermann, F.F., Huang, S.

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Comparing impacts of climate change on streamflow in four large African river basins

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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Assessment of climate change impacts on water resources in three representative ukrainian catchments using eco-hydrological modelling

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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Numerical modelling of climate change impacts on freshwater lenses on the North Sea Island of Borkum using hydrological and geophysical methods

2012, Sulzbacher, H., Wiederhold, H., Siemon, B., Grinat, M., Igel, J., Burschil, T., Günther, T., Hinsby, K.

A numerical, density dependent groundwater model is set up for the North Sea Island of Borkum to estimate climate change impacts on coastal aquifers and especially the situation of barrier islands in the Wadden Sea. The database includes information from boreholes, a seismic survey, a helicopter-borne electromagnetic (HEM) survey, monitoring of the freshwater-saltwater boundary by vertical electrode chains in two boreholes, measurements of groundwater table, pumping and slug tests, as well as water samples. Based on a statistical analysis of borehole columns, seismic sections and HEM, a hydrogeological model is set up. The groundwater model is developed using the finite-element programme FEFLOW. The density dependent groundwater model is calibrated on the basis of hydraulic, hydrological and geophysical data, in particular spatial HEM and local monitoring data. Verification runs with the calibrated model show good agreement between measured and computed hydraulic heads. A good agreement is also obtained between measured and computed density or total dissolved solids data for both the entire freshwater lens on a large scale and in the area of the well fields on a small scale. For simulating future changes in this coastal groundwater system until the end of the current century, we use the climate scenario A2, specified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and, in particular, the data for the German North Sea coast. Simulation runs show proceeding salinisation with time beneath the well fields of the two waterworks Waterdelle and Ostland. The modelling study shows that the spreading of well fields is an appropriate protection measure against excessive salinisation of the water supply until the end of the current century.

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Modeling forest plantations for carbon uptake with the LPJmL dynamic global vegetation model

2019, Braakhekke, Maarten C., Doelman, Jonathan C., Baas, Peter, Müller, Christoph, Schaphoff, Sibyll, Stehfest, Elke, van Vuuren, Detlef P.

We present an extension of the dynamic global vegetation model, Lund-Potsdam-Jena Managed Land (LPJmL), to simulate planted forests intended for carbon (C) sequestration. We implemented three functional types to simulate plantation trees in temperate, tropical, and boreal climates. The parameters of these functional types were optimized to fit target growth curves (TGCs). These curves represent the evolution of stemwood C over time in typical productive plantations and were derived by combining field observations and LPJmL estimates for equivalent natural forests. While the calibrated model underestimates stemwood C growth rates compared to the TGCs, it represents substantial improvement over using natural forests to represent afforestation. Based on a simulation experiment in which we compared global natural forest versus global forest plantation, we found that forest plantations allow for much larger C uptake rates on the timescale of 100 years, with a maximum difference of a factor of 1.9, around 54 years. In subsequent simulations for an ambitious but realistic scenario in which 650Mha (14% of global managed land, 4.5% of global land surface) are converted to forest over 85 years, we found that natural forests take up 37PgC versus 48PgC for forest plantations. Comparing these results to estimations of C sequestration required to achieve the 2°C climate target, we conclude that afforestation can offer a substantial contribution to climate mitigation. Full evaluation of afforestation as a climate change mitigation strategy requires an integrated assessment which considers all relevant aspects, including costs, biodiversity, and trade-offs with other land-use types. Our extended version of LPJmL can contribute to such an assessment by providing improved estimates of C uptake rates by forest plantations. © 2019 American Institute of Physics Inc.. All rights reserved.

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Hydraulic properties at the North Sea island of Borkum derived from joint inversion of magnetic resonance and electrical resistivity soundings

2012, Günther, T., Müller-Petke, M.

For reliably predicting the impact of climate changes on salt/freshwater systems below barrier islands, a long-term hydraulic modelling is inevitable. As input we need the parameters porosity, salinity and hydraulic conductivity at the catchment scale, preferably non-invasively acquired with geophysical methods. We present a methodology to retrieve the searched parameters and a lithological interpretation by the joint analysis of magnetic resonance soundings (MRS) and vertical electric soundings (VES). Both data sets are jointly inverted for resistivity, water content and decay time using a joint inversion scheme. Coupling is accomplished by common layer thicknesses. We show the results of three soundings measured on the eastern part of the North Sea island of Borkum. Pumping test data is used to calibrate the petrophysical relationship for the local conditions in order to estimate permeability from nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) data. Salinity is retrieved from water content and resistivity using a modified Archie equation calibrated by local samples. As a result we are able to predict porosity, salinity and hydraulic conductivities of the aquifers, including their uncertainties. The joint inversion significantly improves the reliability of the results. Verification is given by comparison with a borehole. A sounding in the flooding area demonstrates that only the combined inversion provides a correct subsurface model. Thanks to the joint application, we are able to distinguish fluid conductivity from lithology and provide reliable hydraulic parameters as shown by uncertainty analysis. These findings can finally be used to build groundwater flow models for simulating climate changes. This includes the improved geometry and lithological attribution, and also the parameters and their uncertainties. © Author(s) 2012.

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Impacts of future deforestation and climate change on the hydrology of the Amazon Basin: A multi-model analysis with a new set of land-cover change scenarios

2017, Guimberteau, M., Ciais, P., Pablo, Boisier, J., Paula Dutra Aguiar, A., Biemans, H., De Deurwaerder, H., Galbraith, D., Kruijt, B., Langerwisch, F., Poveda, G., Rammig, A., Andres Rodriguez, D., Tejada, G., Thonicke, K., Von, Randow, C., Randow, R., Zhang, K., Verbeeck, H.

Deforestation in Amazon is expected to decrease evapotranspiration (ET) and to increase soil moisture and river discharge under prevailing energy-limited conditions. The magnitude and sign of the response of ET to deforestation depend both on the magnitude and regional patterns of land-cover change (LCC), as well as on climate change and CO2 levels. On the one hand, elevated CO2 decreases leaf-scale transpiration, but this effect could be offset by increased foliar area density. Using three regional LCC scenarios specifically established for the Brazilian and Bolivian Amazon, we investigate the impacts of climate change and deforestation on the surface hydrology of the Amazon Basin for this century, taking 2009 as a reference. For each LCC scenario, three land surface models (LSMs), LPJmL-DGVM, INLAND-DGVM and ORCHIDEE, are forced by bias-corrected climate simulated by three general circulation models (GCMs) of the IPCC 4th Assessment Report (AR4). On average, over the Amazon Basin with no deforestation, the GCM results indicate a temperature increase of 3.3ĝ€°C by 2100 which drives up the evaporative demand, whereby precipitation increases by 8.5 %, with a large uncertainty across GCMs. In the case of no deforestation, we found that ET and runoff increase by 5.0 and 14ĝ€%, respectively. However, in south-east Amazonia, precipitation decreases by 10ĝ€% at the end of the dry season and the three LSMs produce a 6ĝ€% decrease of ET, which is less than precipitation, so that runoff decreases by 22 %. For instance, the minimum river discharge of the Rio Tapajós is reduced by 31ĝ€% in 2100. To study the additional effect of deforestation, we prescribed to the LSMs three contrasted LCC scenarios, with a forest decline going from 7 to 34ĝ€% over this century. All three scenarios partly offset the climate-induced increase of ET, and runoff increases over the entire Amazon. In the south-east, however, deforestation amplifies the decrease of ET at the end of dry season, leading to a large increase of runoff (up to +27ĝ€% in the extreme deforestation case), offsetting the negative effect of climate change, thus balancing the decrease of low flows in the Rio Tapajós. These projections are associated with large uncertainties, which we attribute separately to the differences in LSMs, GCMs and to the uncertain range of deforestation. At the subcatchment scale, the uncertainty range on ET changes is shown to first depend on GCMs, while the uncertainty of runoff projections is predominantly induced by LSM structural differences. By contrast, we found that the uncertainty in both ET and runoff changes attributable to uncertain future deforestation is low.