Ultra-high resolution regional climate projections for assessing changes in hydrological extremes and underlying uncertainties

Y. Qing, S. Wang, B. Zhang, Y. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The frequency and intensity of extreme hydrological events (droughts and floods) have been increasing over the past few decades, which has been posing a threat to water security and agriculture production. Thus, projecting the future evolution of hydrological extremes plays a crucial role in sustainable water management and agriculture development in a changing climate. In this study, we develop the high-resolution projections of multidimensional drought characteristics and flood risks using the convection-permitting Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model with the horizontal grid spacing of 4 km for the Blanco and Mission River basins over South Texas. Uncertainties in model parameters are addressed explicitly, thereby leading to probabilistic assessments of hydrological extremes. Our findings reveal that the probabilistic multivariate assessments of drought and flood risks can reduce the underestimation and the biased conclusions generated from the univariate assessment. Furthermore, our findings disclose that future droughts are expected to become more severe over South Texas even though the frequency of the occurrence of droughts is projected to decrease, especially for the long-term drought episodes. In addition, South Texas region is expected to experience more floods with an increasing river discharge. Moreover, the Blanco and Mission river basins will suffer from higher flood risks as flood return periods are expected to become longer under climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2031-2051
Number of pages21
JournalClimate Dynamics
Volume55
Issue number7-8
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

Keywords

  • Copula
  • Drought
  • Flood
  • Hydrological extremes
  • Regional climate projection

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