Special Issue "Evaluating Hydrological Responses to Climate Change"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 December 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Lorraine E. Flint Website E-Mail
U.S. Geological Survey, California Water Science Center
Phone: 916-278-3223
Interests: climate change, watershed hydrology, soil moisture, groundwater recharge, ecohydrology, climatic water deficit, water balance
Guest Editor
Ms. Alicia Torregrosa Website E-Mail
U.S. Geological Survey, Western Geographic Science Center
Phone: 650-329-4091
Interests: biodiversity, ecohydrology, coastal fog, climate change, bioclimate

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The impacts of climate change on hydrology are varied and have many implications for resource management, resilience and adapatation. Ample evidence can be found to illustrate ongoing impacts, in addition to projected increases in current trends that include longer dry seasons, shorter wet seasons with more extreme precipitation, diminished snowpack, and longer and more extreme droughts. The hydrological responses to climate change can be examined from a variety of perspectives, including field observations of changing habitats and influences on organisms, hydrological modeling of water supply and impacts on landscapes, and the response of varying components of the hydrological cycle, including soil moisture, coastal fog, evpotranspiration, baseflows, shifts from snow to rain, and changes in recharge versus runoff. This special issue of Water will present the results and discussion of investigations into many aspects of how hydrology responds to changes in climate.

Dr. Lorraine E. Flint
Ms. Alicia Torregrosa
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • hydrology
  • watersheds
  • water balance
  • coastal fog
  • evapotranspiration
  • baseflows
  • habitats
  • recharge
  • streamflow
  • snowpack

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Performance of CMIP5 Global Climate Models for Simulating Future Precipitation Change in the Tibetan Plateau
Water 2019, 11(9), 1771; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091771 - 25 Aug 2019
Abstract
In this study, the performance of 33 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5) global climate models (GCMs) in simulating precipitation over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) was assessed using data from 1961 to 2005 by an improved score-based method, which adopts multiple criteria to [...] Read more.
In this study, the performance of 33 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5) global climate models (GCMs) in simulating precipitation over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) was assessed using data from 1961 to 2005 by an improved score-based method, which adopts multiple criteria to achieve a comprehensive evaluation. The future precipitation change was also estimated based on the Delta method by selecting the submultiple model ensemble (SMME) in the near-term (2006–2050) and far future (2051–2095) periods under Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) scenarios RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. The results showed that most GCMs can reasonably simulate the precipitation pattern of an annual cycle; however, all GCMs overestimated the precipitation over TP, especially in spring and summer. The GCMs generally provide good simulations of the temporal characteristics of precipitation, while they did not perform as well in reproducing its spatial distributions. Different assessment criteria lead to inconsistent results; however, the improved rank score method, which adopts multiple criteria, provided a robust assessment of GCMs performance. The future annual precipitation was projected to increase by ~6% in the near-term with respect to the period 1961–2005, whereas increases of 12.3% and 16.7% are expected in the far future under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios, respectively. Similar spatial distributions of future precipitation changes can be seen in the near-term and far future periods under the two scenarios, and indicate that the most predominant increases occurred in the north of TP. The results of this study are expected to provide valuable information on climate change, and for water resources and agricultural management in TP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evaluating Hydrological Responses to Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of Threshold Levels and a Climate-Sensitivity Model of the Hydrological Regime of the High-Altitude Catchment of the Western Himalayas, Pakistan
Water 2019, 11(7), 1454; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11071454 - 14 Jul 2019
Abstract
Water shortages in Pakistan are among the most severe in the world, and its water resources are decreasing significantly due to the prevailing hydro-meteorological conditions. We assessed variations in meteorological and hydrological variables using innovative trend analysis (ITA) and traditional trend analysis methods [...] Read more.
Water shortages in Pakistan are among the most severe in the world, and its water resources are decreasing significantly due to the prevailing hydro-meteorological conditions. We assessed variations in meteorological and hydrological variables using innovative trend analysis (ITA) and traditional trend analysis methods at a practical significance level, which is also of practical interest. We developed threshold levels of hydrological variables and developed a non-parametric climate-sensitivity model of the high-altitude catchment of the western Himalayas. The runoff of Zone I decreased, while the temperature increased and the precipitation increased significantly. In Zone II, the runoff and temperature increased but the precipitation decreased. A two-dimensional visualization of the Pardé coefficient showed extreme drought events, and indicated greater sensitivity of the hydrological regime to temperature than to precipitation. The threshold levels of runoff for Zones I and II were 320 and 363 mm using the Q80 fixed method, while the mean runoff amounts were estimated to be 79.95 and 55.61 mm, respectively. The transient threshold levels varied by month, and the duration of droughts in Zones I and II ranged from 26.39 to 78.98 days. The sensitivity of the hydrological regime was estimated based on a modified climate-elasticity model (εp = 0.11–0.23, εt = −0.04–2.39) for Zones I and II, respectively. These results highlight the sensitivity of the hydrological regime to temperature, which influences the melting process. However, it is important to establish thresholds for hydrological variables and understand the climate sensitivity of the hydrological regime of the entire basin, so that policy makers and water managers can make sustainable water-resource-management decisions for this region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evaluating Hydrological Responses to Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact Assessment of Future Climate Change on Streamflows Upstream of Khanpur Dam, Pakistan using Soil and Water Assessment Tool
Water 2019, 11(5), 1090; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11051090 - 24 May 2019
Abstract
The study aims to evaluate the long-term changes in meteorological parameters and to quantify their impacts on water resources of the Haro River watershed located on the upstream side of Khanpur Dam in Pakistan. The climate data was obtained from the NASA Earth [...] Read more.
The study aims to evaluate the long-term changes in meteorological parameters and to quantify their impacts on water resources of the Haro River watershed located on the upstream side of Khanpur Dam in Pakistan. The climate data was obtained from the NASA Earth Exchange Global Daily Downscaled Projection (NEX-GDDP) for MIROC-ESM model under two Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios. The model data was bias corrected and the performance of the bias correction was assessed statistically. Soil and Water Assessment Tool was used for the hydrological simulation of watershed followed by model calibration using Sequential Uncertainty Fitting version-2. The study is useful for devising strategies for future management of Khanpur Dam. The study indicated that in the future, at Murree station (P-1), the maximum temperature, minimum temperature and precipitation were anticipated to increase from 3.1 °C (RCP 4.5) to 4.0 °C (RCP 8.5), 3.2 °C (RCP 4.5) to 4.3 °C (RCP 8.5) and 8.6% to 13.5% respectively, in comparison to the baseline period. Similarly, at Islamabad station (P-2), the maximum temperature, minimum temperature and precipitation were projected to increase from 3.3 °C (RCP 4.5) to 4.1 °C (RCP 8.5), 3.3 °C (RCP 4.5) to 4.2 °C (RCP 8.5) and 14.0% to 21.2% respectively compared to baseline period. The streamflows at Haro River basin were expected to rise from 8.7 m3/s to 9.3 m3/s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evaluating Hydrological Responses to Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Climate Change Impacts on River Flows in the Tonle Sap Lake Basin, Cambodia
Water 2019, 11(3), 618; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030618 - 25 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The Tonle Sap is the most fertile and diverse freshwater ecosystem in Southeast Asia, receiving nurturing water flows from the Mekong and its immediate basin. In addition to rapid development in the Tonle Sap basin, climate change may threaten natural flow patterns that [...] Read more.
The Tonle Sap is the most fertile and diverse freshwater ecosystem in Southeast Asia, receiving nurturing water flows from the Mekong and its immediate basin. In addition to rapid development in the Tonle Sap basin, climate change may threaten natural flow patterns that sustain its diversity. The impacts of climate change on river flows in 11 sub-basins contributing to the Tonle Sap Lake were assessed using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to quantify the potential magnitude of future hydrological alterations. Projected river flows from three General Circulation Models (GFDL-CM3, GISS-E2-R-CC and IPSL-CM5A-MR) for three time horizons (2030s, 2060s and 2090s) indicate a likely decrease in both the wet and dry season flows. The mean annual projected flow reductions range from 9 to 29%, 10 to 35% and 7 to 41% for the 2030s, 2060s and 2090s projections, respectively. Moreover, a decrease in extreme river flows (Q5 and Q95) was also found, which implies there could be a decline in flood magnitudes and an increase in drought occurrences throughout the basin. The results of this study provide insight for water resources planning and adaptation strategies for the river ecosystems during the dry season, when water flows are projected to decrease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evaluating Hydrological Responses to Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Climate Change on Hydroecological Response in Chalk Streams
Water 2019, 11(3), 596; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030596 - 22 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Climate change represents a major threat to lotic freshwater ecosystems and their ability to support the provision of ecosystem services. England’s chalk streams are in a poor state of health, with significant concerns regarding their resilience, the ability to adapt, under a changing [...] Read more.
Climate change represents a major threat to lotic freshwater ecosystems and their ability to support the provision of ecosystem services. England’s chalk streams are in a poor state of health, with significant concerns regarding their resilience, the ability to adapt, under a changing climate. This paper aims to quantify the effect of climate change on hydroecological response for the River Nar, south-east England. To this end, we apply a coupled hydrological and hydroecological modelling framework, with the UK probabilistic climate projections 2009 (UKCP09) weather generator serving as input (CMIP3 A1B high emissions scenario, 2021 to the end-of-century). The results indicate a minimal change in the long-term mean hydroecological response over this period. In terms of interannual variability, the median hydroecological response is subject to increased uncertainty, whilst lower probability extremes are virtually certain to become more homogeneous (assuming a high emissions scenario). A functional matrix, relating species-level macroinvertebrate functional flow preferences to functional food groups reveals that, on the baseline, under extreme conditions, key groups are underrepresented. To date, despite this limited range, the River Nar has been able to adapt to extreme events due to interannual variation. In the future, this variation is greatly reduced, raising real concerns over the resilience of the river ecosystem, and chalk ecosystems more generally, under climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evaluating Hydrological Responses to Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Using a Hydrologic Model to Assess the Performance of Regional Climate Models in a Semi-Arid Watershed in Brazil
Water 2019, 11(1), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11010170 - 18 Jan 2019
Abstract
This study assessed the impact of climate change on the hydrological regime of the Paraguaçu river basin, northeastern Brazil. Hydrological impact simulations were conducted using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) for 2020–2040. Precipitation and surface air temperature projections from two Regional [...] Read more.
This study assessed the impact of climate change on the hydrological regime of the Paraguaçu river basin, northeastern Brazil. Hydrological impact simulations were conducted using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) for 2020–2040. Precipitation and surface air temperature projections from two Regional Climate Models (Eta-HadGEM2-ES and Eta-MIROC5) based on IPCC5—RCP 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios were used as inputs after first applying two bias correction methods (linear scaling—LS and distribution mapping—DM). The analysis of the impact of climate change on streamflow was done by comparing the maximum, average and reference (Q90) flows of the simulated and observed streamflow records. This study found that both methods were able to correct the climate projection bias, but the DM method showed larger distortion when applied to future scenarios. Climate projections from the Eta-HadGEM2-ES (LS) model showed significant reductions of mean monthly streamflow for all time periods under both RCP 4.5 and 8.5. The Eta-MIROC5 (LS) model showed a lower reduction of the simulated mean monthly streamflow under RCP 4.5 and a decrease of streamflow under RCP 8.5, similar to the Eta-HadGEM2-ES model results. The results of this study provide information for guiding future water resource management in the Paraguaçu River Basin and show that the bias correction algorithm also plays a significant role when assessing climate model estimates and their applicability to hydrological modelling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evaluating Hydrological Responses to Climate Change)
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