Special issue |
Integrated assessment of climate change impacts at selected European research sites – from climate and hydrological hazards to risk analysis and measures
Editor(s): Rafaela Matos, Tim aus der Beek, Tone Merete Muthanna, Beniamino Russo, Henning W. Rust, Adriana Bruggeman, Kees van Leeuwen, Ana Estela Barbosa, Uwe Ulbrich, and Heidi KreibichMore information
Climate change impacts on the water cycle have become more evident during the last decade with several parts of the hydrological cycle affected. Consequently, the increase in natural hazards, especially droughts and floods, directly affect society, e.g. by water stress, urban floods, limitations in irrigation and many more. In order to cope with these impacts, the associated risks need to be analysed and prioritized. Based on the risk assessment, measures can be derived to mitigate the impact of climate and hydrological change on society. Therefore, this special issue aims at research following the modelling and analysis chain climate–hydrology–risks–measures. The research topics should also address their direct applicability to stakeholders in order to provide established transferability links of research results to practical implementation. Six hotspot regions in Europe have been chosen, which are prone to a large variety of natural hazards due to climate change, such as droughts and floods: (1) Bergen, Norway; (2) Cyprus; (3) Tagus River basin, Portugal; (4) Wupper River basin, Germany; (5) the Veluwe, the Netherlands; (6) and Barcelona and nearby coastal cities, Spain.
Henk-Jan van Alphen, Clemens Strehl, Fabian Vollmer, Eduard Interwies, Anasha Petersen, Stefan Görlitz, Montse Martinez Puentes, Maria Guerrero Hidalga, Elias Giannakis, Teun Spek, Marc Scheibel, Erle Kristvik, Fernanda Rocha, and Emmy Bergsma
Preprint under review for NHESS(discussion: final response, 7 comments)
This paper presents an approach to selecting and analysing climate change adaptation measures, using a combination of scientific analysis and stakeholder interaction. This approach was applied in six cases across Europe, concerning drought and extreme precipitation. Although the cases vary widely, the approach yielded decision relevant outcomes for the development of adaptation strategies, regarding socio-economic impacts of measures and potential barriers to implementation.
Can numerical models simulate intense rainfall events and consequent streamflow in a mountainous area with small watersheds well? We applied state-of-the-art one-way-coupled atmospheric–hydrologic models and we found that, despite rainfall events simulated with low errors, large discrepancies between the observed and simulated streamflow were observed. Shifts in time and space of the modelled rainfall peak are the main reason. Still, the models can be applied for climate change impact studies.
Hydrological impacts of climate change are generally performed by following steps from global to regional climate modeling through data tailoring and hydrological modeling. Usually, the climate–hydrology chain primary focuses on medium to large catchments. To study impacts of climate change on small catchments, a high-resolution regional climate model and hydrological model are required. The results from high-resolution models help in proposing specific adaptation strategies for impacts.
Bathing water quality at public beaches is often compromised by the presence of urban sewer systems that usually discharge, mostly during rainfalls, untreated sewer water into lakes, rivers or seas. In this study we analyzed and quantified the impact of sewer discharges into the sea of a large Spanish city. This study provides a useful idea for local water managers and for people bathing in these areas about how long and how much an urban sewer system can affect the seawater quality.