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Water 2018, 10(10), 1441; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101441

Future Changes in Flood Hazards across Canada under a Changing Climate

1
Facility for Intelligent Decision Support, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Western, London, Ontario, ON N6A 3K7, Canada
2
National Research Council Canada, 1200 Montreal Road, Ottawa, ON K1A 0R6, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 September 2018 / Revised: 2 October 2018 / Accepted: 7 October 2018 / Published: 13 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Floods and Droughts under Future Climate Scenarios)
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Abstract

Climate change has induced considerable changes in the dynamics of key hydro-climatic variables across Canada, including floods. In this study, runoff projections made by 21 General Climate Models (GCMs) under four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) are used to generate 25 km resolution streamflow estimates across Canada for historical (1961–2005) and future (2061–2100) time-periods. These estimates are used to calculate future projected changes in flood magnitudes and timings across Canada. Results obtained indicate that flood frequencies in the northernmost regions of Canada, and south-western Ontario can be expected to increase in the future. As an example, the historical 100-year return period events in these regions are expected to become 10–60 year return period events. On the other hand, northern prairies and north-central Ontario can be expected to experience decreases in flooding frequencies in future. The historical 100-year return period flood events in these regions are expected to become 160–200 year return period events in future. Furthermore, prairies, parts of Quebec, Ontario, Nunavut, and Yukon territories can be expected to experience earlier snowmelt-driven floods in the future. The results from this study will help decision-makers to effectively manage and design municipal and civil infrastructure in Canada under a changing climate. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; Canada; flooding frequency; catchment based macroscale floodplain model; uncertainty climate change; Canada; flooding frequency; catchment based macroscale floodplain model; uncertainty
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Gaur, A.; Gaur, A.; Simonovic, S.P. Future Changes in Flood Hazards across Canada under a Changing Climate. Water 2018, 10, 1441.

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