Using ensemble of climate models to evaluate future water and solutes budgets in Lake Kinneret, Israel

Alon Rimmer, Amir Givati, Rana Samuels, Pinhas Alpert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Identifying and quantifying future climate effects on water resources has major economic and societal implications, rendering such studies extremely important for water planners. Here we integrate output from one high resolution global (Japan Meteorological Agency) and three regional (ECHAM-RegCM, Hadley-MM5, ECHAM-MM5) climate models into three hydrological tools (1 annual incoming water volumes; 2 evaporation from the lake; and 3 lake salinity) to provide first approximations of climate change impacts on water quantity and quality in Lake Kinneret (also known as Sea of Galilee), the major freshwater resource in Israel. Meteorological data extracted from the climate models were used as input data into the models. Results were calculated for the historical 1979-2009 and the future 2015-2060 periods. The modeled historical period was verified against observed data, first by each model alone, and then by the combined model structure. Predicted results varied between the climate models. The ECHAM-RegCM predicted decreased precipitation in an average rate of ∼7mmyear-1 (-0.8% annually) while the trends of precipitation predicted by the other models were less obvious. According to the combination of ECHAM-RegCM, ECHAM-MM5 and Hadley-MM5 with the lake evaporation model, the evaporation will increase by 0.2-0.6Mm3 (0.10-0.25%) annually while according to the JMA no trend was found. The lake salinity is mostly impacted by changes in inflows and therefore only the ECHAM-RegCM predicted significant increase of salinity (from 280ppm Cl today to ∼450ppm Cl in 2060), while the trends of salinity according to other models were mild.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-259
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 22 Nov 2011


  • Available water
  • Climate models
  • Ensemble
  • Lake Kinneret
  • Lake evaporation model
  • Lake salinity model


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