Crystal balls into the future: are global circulation and water balance models ready?
- 1Department of Civil Engineering, CUNY CREST Institute, The City College of New York, New York, NY, USA
- 2Environmental Sciences Initiative, Advanced Science Research Center, City University of New York, New York, NY, USA
- 3CLIM Lab, ENEA – Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, Rome, Italy
- 4Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
Abstract. Variabilities and changes due to natural and anthropogenic causes in the water cycle always presented a challenge for water management planning. Practitioners traditionally coped with variabilities in the hydrological processes by assuming stationarity in the probability distributions and attempted to address non-stationarity by revising this probabilistic properties via continued hydro-climatological observations. Recently, this practice was questioned and more reliance on Global Circulation Models was put forward as an alternative for water management plannig.
This paper takes a brief assessment of the state of Global Circulation Models (GCM) and their applications by presenting case studies over Global, European and African domains accompanied by literature examples. Our paper demonstrates core deficiencies in GCM based water resources assessments and articulates the need for improved Earth system monitoring that is essential not only for water managers, but to aid the improvements of GCMs in the future.