Articles | Volume 368
06 May 2015
 | 06 May 2015

Physically-based distributed modelling of river runoff under changing climate conditions

I. Krylenko, Yu. Motovilov, E. Antokhina, V. Zhuk, and G. Surkova

Keywords: Cold region hydrology, climate change, rainfall–runoff modelling

Abstract. Physically-based distributed modelling under changing climatic conditions has been carried out for the Northern Dvina River basin using the ECOMAG (ECOlogical Model for Applied Geophysics). The parameters of the model have been adjusted through calibration against runoff hydrographs observed for the period 2000–2009. Validation of the model has been performed for the period of 1970–1989. Both sensitivity analysis and scenario approaches (based on the CMIP3 projections) have been applied to assess possible hydrological consequences of climate change in the basin. It has been shown that for greenhouse gases emissions A2 scenario, averaged for 11 climate models, annual runoff will not change significantly for the future 50 years. But due to increasing of winter precipitation by up to 15%, the volume of flow in the flood period could increase by up to 20%. Earlier beginning of the flood season is expected because of rising of the air temperature.