World Library  

Add to Book Shelf
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Book

Elevational Dependence of Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources in an Alpine Catchment : Volume 10, Issue 3 (20/03/2013)

By Fatichi, S.

Click here to view

Book Id: WPLBN0004011704
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 52
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Elevational Dependence of Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources in an Alpine Catchment : Volume 10, Issue 3 (20/03/2013)  
Author: Fatichi, S.
Volume: Vol. 10, Issue 3
Language: English
Subject: Science, Hydrology, Earth
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


APA MLA Chicago

Burlando, P., Rimkus, S., Molnar, P., Fatichi, S., & Bordoy, R. (2013). Elevational Dependence of Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources in an Alpine Catchment : Volume 10, Issue 3 (20/03/2013). Retrieved from

Description: Institute of Environmental Engineering, ETH Zürich, Switzerland. An increasing interest is directed toward understanding impacts of climate change on water related sectors in a particularly vulnerable area such as the Alpine region. We present a distributed hydrological analysis at scale significant for water management for pristine, present-days, and projected future climate conditions. We used the upper Rhone basin (Switzerland) as a test case for understanding anthropogenic impacts on water resources and flood risk in the Alpine area. The upper Rhone basin includes reservoirs, river diversions and irrigated areas offering the opportunity to study the interaction between climate change effects and hydraulic infrastructures. We downscale climate model realizations using a methodology that partially account for the uncertainty in climate change projections explicitly simulating stochastic variability of precipitation and air temperature. We show how climate change effects on streamflow propagate from high elevation headwater catchments to the river in the major valley. Changes in the natural hydrological regime imposed by the existing hydraulic infrastructure are likely larger than climate change signals expected by the middle of the 21th century in most of the river network. Despite a strong uncertainty induced by stochastic climate variability, we identified an elevational dependence of climate change impacts on streamflow with a severe reduction due to the missing contribution of water from ice melt at high-elevation and a dampened effect downstream. The presence of reservoirs and river diversions tends to decrease the uncertainty in future streamflow predictions that are conversely very large for highly glacierized catchments. Despite uncertainty, reduced ice cover and ice melt are likely to have significant implication for aquatic biodiversity and hydropower production. The impacts can emerge without any additional climate warming. A decrease of August-September discharge and an increase of hourly-daily maximum flows appear as the most robust projected changes for the different parts of the catchment. However, it is unlikely that major changes in total runoff for the entire upper Rhone basin will occur in the next decades.

Elevational dependence of climate change impacts on water resources in an Alpine catchment

Brutsaert, W.: Hydrology, An Introduction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2005.; Burlando, P. and Rosso, R.: Extreme storm rainfall and climatic change, Atmos. Res., 27, 169–189, 1991.; Anandhi, A., Frei, A., Pierson, D. C., Schneiderman, E. M., Zion, M. S., Lounsbury, D., and Matonse, A. H.: Examination of change factor methodologies for climate change impact assessment, Water Resour. Res., 47, W03501, doi:10.1029/2010WR009104, 2011.; Bahr, D. B., Meier, M. F., and Peckham, S. D.: The physical basis of glacier volume-area scaling, J. Geophys. Res., 102, 20355–20362, 1997.; Bauder, A., Funk, M., and Huss, M.: Ice-volume changes of selected glaciers in the Swiss Alps since the end of the 19th century, Ann. Glaciol., 46, 145–149, doi:10.3189/172756407782871701, 2007.; Beniston, M.: Mountain weather and climate: a general overview and a focus on climatic change in the alps, Hydrobiologia, 562, 3–16, doi:10.1007/s10750-005-1802-0, 2006.; Beniston, M.: Impacts of climatic change on water and associated economic activities in the Swiss Alps, J. Hydrol., 412–413, 291–296, 2012.; Beniston, M., Stoffel, M., and Hill, M.: Impacts of climatic change on water and natural hazards in the {A}lps: {c}an current water governance cope with future challenges? {E}xamples from the {E}uropean {ACQWA} project, Environ. Sci. Policy, 14, 734–743, doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2010.12.009, 2011.; Bordoy, R.: Spatiotemporal downscaling of climate scenarios in regions of complex orography, Ph.D. thesis, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, 2013.; Bordoy, R. and Burlando, P.: Bias correction of regional climate model simulations in a region of complex orography, J. Appl. Meteorol. Clim., 52, 82–101, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-11-0149.1, 2013a.; Bordoy, R. and Burlando, P.: Stochastic downscaling of precipitation to high-resolution scenarios in orographically complex regions. Part 2: Downscaling methodology, Water Resour. Res., submitted, 2013b.; Bordoy, R. and Burlando, P.: Stochastic downscaling of precipitation to high-resolution scenarios in orographically complex regions. Part 1: Model evaluation, Water Resour. Res., submitted, 2013c.; Brown, L. E., Hannah, D. M., and Milner, A. M.: Vulnerability of alpine stream biodiversity to shrinking glaciers and snowpacks, Glob. Change Biol., 13, 958–966, 2007.; Burlando, P. and Rosso, R.: Effects of transient climate change on basin hydrology. 1. {P}recipitation scenarios for the {A}rno river, central {I}taly, Hydrolog. Proc., 16, 1151–1175, 2002.; Burton, A., Kilsby, C. G., Fowler, H. J., Cowpertwait, P. S. P., and O'Connell, P.: Rain{S}im: a spatial-temporal stochastic rainfall modelling system, Environ. Modell. Softw., 23, 1356–1369, doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2008.04.003, 2008.; Burton, A., Fowler, H. J., Blenkinsop, S., and Kilsby, C. G.: Downscaling transient climate change using a {N}eyman-{S}cott {r}ectangular {p}ulses stochastic rainfall model, J. Hydrol., 381, 18–32, doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2009.10.03


Click To View

Additional Books

  • Evaluation of Alternative Formulae for C... (by )
  • The Causes of Flow Regime Shifts in the ... (by )
  • The Two-layer Surface Energy Balance Par... (by )
  • A New Data Assimilation Approach for Imp... (by )
  • Ecohydrologic Controls on Vegetation Den... (by )
  • Improving Estimated Soil Moisture Fields... (by )
  • Application of Time-series Analyses to t... (by )
  • Investigating Temporal Field Sampling St... (by )
  • Responses of Snowmelt Runoff to Climatic... (by )
  • Value of Medium Range Weather Forecasts ... (by )
  • Sustainability of Water Uses in Managed ... (by )
  • Water Footprints of Cities – Indicators ... (by )
Scroll Left
Scroll Right


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.