Articles | Volume 11, issue 8
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 2295–2306, 2011

Special issue: Applying ensemble climate change projections for assessing...

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 2295–2306, 2011

  23 Aug 2011

23 Aug 2011

Using ensemble climate projections to assess probabilistic hydrological change in the Nordic region

F. Wetterhall1,2,3, L. P. Graham1, J. Andréasson1, J. Rosberg1, and W. Yang1 F. Wetterhall et al.
  • 1Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institue, Norrköping, Sweden
  • 2Department of Geography, King's College London, UK
  • 3European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, Reading, UK

Abstract. Assessing hydrological effects of global climate change at local scales is important for evaluating future hazards to society. However, applying climate model projections to local impact models can be difficult as outcomes can vary considerably between different climate models, and including results from many models is demanding. This study combines multiple climate model outputs with hydrological impact modelling through the use of response surfaces. Response surfaces represent the sensitivity of the impact model to incremental changes in climate variables and show probabilies for reaching a priori determined thresholds. Response surfaces were calculated using the HBV hydrological model for three basins in Sweden. An ensemble of future climate projections was then superimposed onto each response surface, producing a probability estimate for exceeding the threshold being evaluated. Site specific impacts thresholds were used where applicable. Probabilistic trends for future change in hazards or potential can be shown and evaluated. It is particularly useful for visualising the range of probable outcomes from climate models and can easily be updated with new results as they are made available.