The integration of climate change projections into hydrological and other response models used for water resource planning and management is challenging given the varying spatial resolutions of the different models. In general, climate models are generated at spatial ranges of hundreds of kilometers, while hydrological models are generally watershed specific and based on input at the station or local level. This paper focuses on techniques applied to downscale large-scale climate model simulations to the spatial scale required by local response models (hydrological, agricultural, soil). Specifically, results were extracted from a regional climate model (RegCM) simulation focused on the Middle East, which was downscaled to a scale appropriate for input into a local watershed model [the Hydrological Model for Karst Environment (HYMKE)] calibrated for the upper Jordan River catchment. With this application, the authors evaluated the effect of future climate change on the amount and form of precipitation (rain or snow) and its effect on streamflow in the Jordan River and its tributaries-the major water resources in the region. They found that the expected changes in the form of precipitation are nearly insignificant in terms of changing the timing of streamflow. Additionally, the results suggest a future increase in evaporation and decrease in average annual rainfall, supporting expected changes based on global models in this region.
- Climate sensitivity
- Regional models