Climate change impact assessment and uncertainty analysis of the hydrology of a northern, data-sparse catchment using multiple hydrological models
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The objective of this research was to determine the impact of climate change on the Churchill River basin and perform analysis on uncertainty related to this impact. Three hydrological models were used to determine this impact and were calibrated to approximately equivalent levels of efficiency. These include WATFLOODTM, a semi-physically based, distributed model; HBV-EC, a semidistributed, conceptual model; and HMETS, a lumped, conceptual model. These models achieved Nash-Sutcliffe calibration values ranging from 0.51 to 0.71. Climate change simulations indicated that the average of simulations predict a small increase in flow for the 2050s and a slight decrease for the 2080s. Each hydrological model predicted earlier freshets and a shift in timing of low flow events. Uncertainty analysis indicated that the chief contributor of uncertainty was the selection of GCM followed by hydrological model with less significant sources of uncertainty being parameterization of the hydrological model and selection of emissions scenario.