738 years of global climate model simulated streamflow in the Nelson-Churchill River Basin

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Vieira, Michael John Fernandes
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Uncertainty surrounds the understanding of natural variability in hydrologic extremes such as droughts and floods and how these events are projected to change in the future. This thesis leverages Global Climate Model (GCM) data to analyse 738 year streamflow scenarios in the Nelson-Churchill River Basin. Streamflow scenarios include a 500 year stationary period and future projections forced by two forcing scenarios. Fifty three GCM simulations are evaluated for performance in reproducing observed runoff characteristics. Runoff from a subset of nine simulations is routed to generate naturalized streamflow scenarios. Quantile mapping is then applied to reduce volume bias while maintaining the GCM’s sequencing of events. Results show evidence of future increases in mean annual streamflow and evidence that mean monthly streamflow variability has decreased from stationary conditions and is projected to decrease further into the future. There is less evidence of systematic change in droughts and floods.
Climate change, Natural climate variability, Runoff, Routing, Streamflow, Bias correction, Drought, Flood