Articles | Volume 368
06 May 2015
 | 06 May 2015

Improving evaluation of climate change impacts on the water cycle by remote sensing ET-retrieval

S. G. García Galiano, P. Olmos Giménez, J. Ángel Martínez Pérez, and J. Diego Giraldo Osorio

Keywords: Regional climate models, ensembles, actual evapotranspiration, remote sensing-retrieval, climate change impacts, rainfall–runoff modelling, NDVI-land surface temperature space

Abstract. Population growth and intense consumptive water uses are generating pressures on water resources in the southeast of Spain. Improving the knowledge of the climate change impacts on water cycle processes at the basin scale is a step to building adaptive capacity. In this work, regional climate model (RCM) ensembles are considered as an input to the hydrological model, for improving the reliability of hydroclimatic projections. To build the RCMs ensembles, the work focuses on probability density function (PDF)-based evaluation of the ability of RCMs to simulate of rainfall and temperature at the basin scale. To improve the spatial calibration of the continuous hydrological model used, an algorithm for remote sensing actual evapotranspiration (AET) retrieval was applied. From the results, a clear decrease in runoff is expected for 2050 in the headwater basin studied. The plausible future scenario of water shortage will produce negative impacts on the regional economy, where the main activity is irrigated agriculture.