Gelfan A., GustafssonD., Motovilov Yu., Arheimer B., Kalugin A., Krylenko I., Lavrenov A. (2016) Climate change impact on the water regime of two great Arctic rivers: modeling and uncertainty issues. Climatic Change. doi 10.1007/s10584-016-1710-5
The ECOlogical Model for Applied Geophysics (ECOMAG) and the HYdrological Predictions for the Environment (HYPE) process-based hydrological models were set up to assess possible impacts of climate change on the hydrological regime of two pan-Arctic great drainage basins of the Lena and the Mackenzie Rivers. We firstly assessed the reliability of the hydrological models to reproduce the historical streamflow series and analyzed the hydrological projections driven by the climate change scenarios. The impacts were assessed for three 30-year periods (early- (2006–2035), mid- (2036–2065), and end-century (2070–2099)) using an ensemble of five global climate models (GCMs) and four Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios. Results show, particularly, that the basins react with a multi-year delay to changes in RCP2.6, so-called Bmitigation^ scenario, and consequently to the potential mitigation measures. Then, we assessed the hydrological projections’ variability, which is caused by the GCM’s and RCP’s uncertainties, and found that the variability rises with the time horizon of the projection, and generally, the projection variability is larger for the Mackenzie than for the Lena. We finally compared the mean annual runoff anomalies projected under the GCM-based data for the twenty-first century with the corresponding anomalies projected under a modified observed climatology using the delta-change method in the Lena basin. We found that the compared projections are closely correlated for the earlycentury period. Thus, for the Lena basin, the modified observed climatology can be used as driving force for hydrological model-based projections and considered as an alternative to the GCM-based scenarios.