Hydrological impact studies play a key role as decision support systems for planning and management within several fundamental societal areas such as; water and energy supply, rescue services, security and environmental protection.
Hydrological climate change impacts are, however, difficult to quantify using the results from present climate models, as the spatial resolution is too low, there are temporal disjunctions and systematic errors that have a significant impact in secondary applications and effect studies. The efforts made to date may be viewed as the first generation of hydrological impact assessment studies, based on a rather crude methodology.
This work, within which all project partners have been actively involved, has generated a thorough understanding of both the possibilities and the limitations involved. We believe the time has now come to take a significant step towards more detailed and accurate hydrological scenarios. ________________________________________________________________
The overall objective of the proposed project is thus to develop and apply a new generation of hydrological-climate modelling tools for climate change impact scenarios:
1. Improving the link between regional climate models (RCMs) and hydrological assessments in effect studies of different characters and scales.
2. Quantifying the magnitude of the improvements in the variety of effect studies.
3. Formulating guide-lines for scientifically sound and cost-effective linkages between climate models and specific effect studies.
4. Illustrating the usefulness of these new methods in pilot sites for a number of hydrological impact assessments, such as changed risk for urban flooding pollutant leaching, nutrient transport and shifts in hydrological regimes.
5. Quantifying and mapping several climate change effects in time and space on the fresh-water hydrosphere in Sweden and Europe.
6. Demonstrating the effect on hydrology from climate change compared to other environmental changes through sensitivity studies.
Results will be distributed through scientific publication and a database on the internet with free access for visualisation and downloading by end-users.