Hydrologic Impacts Of Clmate Change : Quantification Of Uncertainties
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General Circulation Models (GCMs), which are mathematical models based on principles of fluid dynamics, thermodynamics and radiative transfer, are the most reliable tools available for projecting climate change. However, the spatial scale on which typical GCMs operate is very coarse as compared to that of a hydrologic process and hence, the output from a GCM cannot be directly used in hydrologic models. Statistical Downscaling (SD) derives a statistical or empirical relationship between the variables simulated by the GCM (predictors) and a point-scale meteorological series (predictand). In this work, a new downscaling model called CRF-downscaling model, is developed where the conditional distribution of the hydrologic predictand sequence, given atmospheric predictor variables, is represented as a conditional random field (CRF) to downscale the predictand in a probabilistic framework. Features defined in the downscaling model capture information about various factors influencing precipitation such as circulation patterns, temperature and pressure gradients and specific humidity levels. Uncertainty in prediction is addressed by projecting future cumulative distribution functions (CDFs) for a number of most likely precipitation sequences. Direct classification of dry/wet days as well as precipitation amount is achieved within a single modeling framework, and changes in the non-parametric distribution of precipitation and dry and wet spell lengths are projected. Application of the method is demonstrated with the case study of downscaling to daily precipitation in the Mahanadi basin in Orissa, with the A1B scenario of the MIROC3.2 GCM from the Center for Climate System Research (CCSR), Japan. An uncertainty modeling framework is presented in this work, which combines GCM, scenario and downscaling uncertainty using the Dempster-Shafer (D-S) evidence theory for representing and combining uncertainty. The methodology for combining uncertainties is applied to projections of hydrologic drought in terms of monsoon standardized streamflow index (SSFI-4) from streamflow projections for the Mahanadi river at Hirakud. The results from the work indicate an increasing probability of extreme, severe and moderate drought and decreasing probability of normal to wet conditions, as a result of a decrease in monsoon streamflow in the Mahanadi river due to climate change. In most studies to date, the nature of the downscaling relationship is assumed stationary, or remaining unchanged in a future climate. In this work, an uncertainty modeling framework is presented in which, in addition to GCM and scenario uncertainty, uncertainty in the downscaling relationship itself is explored by linking downscaling with changes in frequencies of modes of natural variability. Downscaling relationships are derived for each natural variability cluster and used for projections of hydrologic drought. Each projection is weighted with the future projected frequency of occurrence of that cluster, called ‘cluster-linking’, and scaled by the GCM performance with respect to the associated cluster for the present period, called ‘frequency scaling’. The uncertainty modeling framework is applied to a case study of projections of hydrologic drought or SSFI-4 classifications, using projected streamflows for the Mahanadi river at Hirakud. It is shown that a stationary downscaling relationship will either over- or under-predict downscaled hydrologic variable values and associated uncertainty. Results from the work show improved agreement between GCM predictions at the regional scale, which are validated for the 20th century, implying that frequency scaling and cluster-linking may indeed be a valid method for constraining uncertainty. To assess the impact of climate change on reservoir performance, in this study, a range of integrated hydrologic scenarios are projected for the future. The hydrologic scenarios incorporate increased irrigation demands; rule curves dictated by increased need for flood storage and downscaled projections of streamflow from an ensemble of GCMs and emission scenarios. The impact of climate change on multipurpose reservoir performance is quantified, using annual hydropower and RRV criteria, under GCM and scenario uncertainty. The ‘business-as-usual’ case using Standard Operating Policy (SOP) is studied initially for quantifying impacts. Adaptive Stochastic Dynamic Programming (SDP) policies are subsequently derived for the range of future hydrologic scenarios, with the objective of maximizing reliabilities with respect to multiple reservoir purposes of hydropower, irrigation and flood control. It is shown that the hydrologic impact of climate change is likely to result in decreases in performance criteria and annual hydropower generation for Hirakud reservoir. Adaptive policies show that a marginal reduction in irrigation and flood control reliability can achieve increased hydropower reliability in future. Hence, reservoir rules for flood control may have to be revised in the future.
- Civil Engineering (CiE) 
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