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Water 2015, 7(11), 6139-6172; doi:10.3390/w7116139

Impacts of Climate Change on the Hydrological Regime of the Danube River and Its Tributaries Using an Ensemble of Climate Scenarios

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany, P.O. Box 60 12 03, Potsdam 14412, Germany
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Academic Editor: Miklas Scholz
Received: 20 August 2015 / Revised: 23 October 2015 / Accepted: 26 October 2015 / Published: 4 November 2015
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Abstract

Information about the potential impacts of climate change on river runoff is needed to prepare efficient adaptation strategies. This study presents scenario projections for the future hydrological runoff regime in the Danube River Basin. The eco-hydrological watershed model Soil and Water Integrated Model (SWIM) was applied for the entire Danube River catchment, considering 1224 subbasins. After calibration and validation of the model, a set of high-resolution climate projections (bias-corrected and non-bias-corrected) served as meteorological drivers with which future daily river discharge under different climate warming scenario conditions was simulated. Despite existing uncertainties, robust trends could be identified. In the next 30 years, the seasonal stream-flow regime of the Danube and its tributaries is projected to change considerably. Our results show a general trend towards a decrease in summer runoff for the whole Danube basin and, additionally, in autumn runoff for the Middle and Lower Danube basin, aggravating the existing low flow periods. For the winter and early spring seasons, mainly January–March, an increase in river runoff is projected. Greater uncertainties show up in particular for winter runoff in the Dinaric Alps and the Lower Danube basin. The existing trends become very distinct until the end of the 21st century, especially for snow-influenced river regimes. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; climate change impact; Europe; Danube; modeling; hydrology; river; runoff; streamflow; water climate change; climate change impact; Europe; Danube; modeling; hydrology; river; runoff; streamflow; water
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Stagl, J.C.; Hattermann, F.F. Impacts of Climate Change on the Hydrological Regime of the Danube River and Its Tributaries Using an Ensemble of Climate Scenarios. Water 2015, 7, 6139-6172.

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