American Journal of Climate Change

Volume 5, Issue 4 (December 2016)

ISSN Print: 2167-9495   ISSN Online: 2167-9509

Google-based Impact Factor: 1.64  Citations  h5-index & Ranking

Global Climate Model Selection for Analysis of Uncertainty in Climate Change Impact Assessments of Hydro-Climatic Extremes

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DOI: 10.4236/ajcc.2016.54036    1,572 Downloads   2,613 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Regional climate change impact assessments are becoming increasingly important for developing adaptation strategies in an uncertain future with respect to hydro-climatic extremes. There are a number of Global Climate Models (GCMs) and emission scenarios providing predictions of future changes in climate. As a result, there is a level of uncertainty associated with the decision of which climate models to use for the assessment of climate change impacts. The IPCC has recommended using as many global climate model scenarios as possible; however, this approach may be impractical for regional assessments that are computationally demanding. Methods have been developed to select climate model scenarios, generally consisting of selecting a model with the highest skill (validation), creating an ensemble, or selecting one or more extremes. Validation methods limit analyses to models with higher skill in simulating historical climate, ensemble methods typically take multi model means, median, or percentiles, and extremes methods tend to use scenarios which bound the projected changes in precipitation and temperature. In this paper a quantile regression based validation method is developed and applied to generate a reduced set of GCM-scenarios to analyze daily maximum streamflow uncertainty in the Upper Thames River Basin, Canada, while extremes and percentile ensemble approaches are also used for comparison. Results indicate that the validation method was able to effectively rank and reduce the set of scenarios, while the extremes and percentile ensemble methods were found not to necessarily correlate well with the range of extreme flows for all calendar months and return periods.

Cite this paper

Breach, P. , Simonovic, S. and Yang, Z. (2016) Global Climate Model Selection for Analysis of Uncertainty in Climate Change Impact Assessments of Hydro-Climatic Extremes. American Journal of Climate Change, 5, 502-525. doi: 10.4236/ajcc.2016.54036.

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