High Resolution Regional Climate Analysis: Challenges, Methods and Case Studies for Water Sensitive Regions
Harald Kunstmann, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology/Campus Alpine & University of Augsburg
Climate, water and human wealth are directly interlinked in most regions worldwide, as long-term sustainable development depends on sufficient water availability and the ability to respond to the specific regional climatic boundary conditions. While water availability per capita is decreasing continuously due to population growth and increasing water demands, further stress on water availability is expected being put on societies by potential climate change impacts on the regional water cycle. The joint societal and scientific challenge is to support decision makers by scientifically sound information on current and future expected climate- and regional water cycle variability, in a distributed and high resolution manner. Comprehensive analyses thereby require not only focusing on changes in means, but on variability and particularly extreme value behavior. The scientific challenge is to develop and apply dynamical and statistical methods for the quantification of regional climate- and water cycle variability in high spatial and temporal resolution. But even high resolution regional climate models show still significant biases in reproducing observed climate variables. Multivariate statistical correction techniques have to be applied before raw climate model output can be applied in subsequent hydrological or agricultural impact models. The presentation shows the limits and potential of high resolution regional climate modeling and explains the current new regional climate model systems that comprise in a fully coupled manner both the atmosphere and the terrestrial hydrosphere. Finally, a case study of a high resolution hydrological climate impact analysis in the Near East region will be discussed: the expected changing water availability of the Upper Jordan River catchment.
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