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Streamflow in the upper Mississippi river basin as simulated by SWAT driven by 20th Century contemporary results of global climate models and NARCCAP regional climate models

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We use Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) when driven by observations and results of climate models to evaluate hydrological quantities, including streamflow, in the Upper Mississippi River Basin (UMRB) for 1981–2003 in comparison to observed streamflow. Daily meteorological conditions used as input to SWAT are taken from (1) observations at weather stations in the basin, (2) daily meteorological conditions simulated by a collection of regional climate models (RCMs) driven by reanalysis boundary conditions, and (3) daily meteorological conditions simulated by a collection of global climate models (GCMs). Regional models used are those whose data are archived by the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP). Results show that regional models correctly simulate the seasonal cycle of precipitation, temperature, and streamflow within the basin. Regional models also capture interannual extremes represented by the flood of 1993 and the dry conditions of 2000. The ensemble means of both the GCM-driven and RCMdriven simulations by SWAT capture both the timing and amplitude of the seasonal cycle of streamflow with neither demonstrating significant superiority at the basin level.

Das " Soil and Water Assessment Tool" (SWAT), angetrieben mit Beobachtungen, und die Ergebnisse von Klimamodellen werden benutzt, um hydrologische Gro├čen, einschlie├člich Abfluss, im oberen Einzugsgebiet des Mississippi (UMRB) fur die Zeit 1981–2002 mit beobachteten Abflussdaten zu vergleichen. Der tagliche meteorologische Zustand fur die Eingabe in das SWAT wird aus (1) Beobachtungen an Wetterstationen im Einzugsgebiet, (2) Simulationen mehrerer regionaler Klimamodelle (RCMs), angetrieben mit Randdaten aus Reanalysen, und (3) Simulationen mehrerer globaler Klimamodelle (GCMs) entnommen. Die Ergebnisse der regionalen Modelle werden dem Datenarchiv von NARCCAP (North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program) entnommen. Die Vergleiche zeigen, dass die Regionalmodelle den Jahreszeitengang von Niederschlag, Temperatur und Abfluss im Einzugsgebiet korrekt wiedergeben konnen. Die regionalen Modelle konnten auch die Extremereignisse, die Flut in 1993 und die Trockenperiode in 2000, simulieren. Die mit den Ensemblemittel von GCMs und RCMs angetriebenen SWAT-Simulationen geben sowohl den zeitlichen Verlauf, als auch die Amplitude des Jahreszeitengangs des Abflusses wieder, wobei, bezogen auf das Einzugsgebiet, keines der beiden Ensemblemittel eindeutig bessere Ergebnisse als das andere liefert.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2010

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  • Meteorologische Zeitschrift (originally founded in 1866) is the joint periodical of the meteorological societies of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. It accepts high-quality peer-reviewed manuscripts on all aspects of observational, theoretical and computational research out of the entire field of meteorology, including climatology. Meteorologische Zeitschrift represents a natural forum for the meteorological community of Central Europe and worldwide.
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