Impact of climate change on low-flows in the river Meuse
de Wit, M.J.M.
van den Hurk, B.
van Deursen, W.P.A.
Earth and related Environmental sciences
atmospheric greenhouse-gas Contentrations
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In this study observed precipitation, temperature, and discharge records from the Meuse basin for the period 1911–2003 are analysed. The primary aim is to establish which meteorological conditions generate (critical) low-flows of the Meuse. This is achieved by examining the relationships between observed seasonal precipitation and temperature anomalies, and low-flow indices. Secondly, the possible impact of climate change on the (joint) occurrence of these low-flow generating meteorological conditions is addressed. This is based on the outcomes of recently reported RCM climate simulations for Europe given a scenario with increased atmospheric greenhouse-gas concentrations. The observed record (1911–2003) hints at the importance of multi-seasonal droughts in the generation of critical low-flows of the river Meuse. The RCM simulations point to a future with wetter winters and drier summers in Northwest Europe. No increase in the likelihood of multiseasonal droughts is simulated. However, the RCM scenario runs produce multi-seasonal precipitation and temperature anomalies that are out of the range of the observed record for the period 1911–2003. The impact of climate change on low-flows has also been simulated with a hydrological model. This simulation indicates tha climate change will lead to a decrease in the average discharge of the Meuse during the low-flow season. However, the model has difficulties to simulate critical low-flow conditions of the Meuse.
Citationde Wit, M.J.M.; van den Hurk, B.; Warmerdam, P.M.M.; Torfs, P.J.J.F.; Roulin, E.; van Deursen, W.P.A. (2007). Impact of climate change on low-flows in the river Meuse. , Issue Climatic Change, 82, 351-372, IRM,