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Assessing future changes in pan-European environmental flows

Laize, Cedric L.R.; Acreman, M.; Dunbar, M.; Houghton-Carr, H.; Florke, M.; Schneider, C.; Hannah, D.M.. 2011 Assessing future changes in pan-European environmental flows. [Poster] In: AGU Fall Meeting 2011, San Fransisco, USA, 5-9 December 2011. AGU.

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Abstract/Summary

The potential river flow-driven impact of change on aquatic and riparian ecosystems at the pan-European scale under various climatological and development scenarios was assessed using a methodology based conceptually on the Range of Variability Approach (RVA) using the Indicators of Hydrological Alteration (IHA): a desk-top technique for assessing if environmental flow requirements. This paper presents an adaptation of the IHA approach using monthly flows. European and Mediterranean river networks were modelled as ~35,000 cells (0.5° longitude x 0.5° latitude). For each cell, modelled monthly flows were generated for an ensemble of 10 future climate change scenarios. These scenarios consist of combinations of two climate scenarios (IPCM4 and MIMR) and four socio-economic water-use scenarios (each with a main driver of economy, policy, security, or sustainability), projected for 2050s. IHA-styled statistics were calculated. By tailoring the RVA, acceptable baseline environmental flow ranges and departures from these of the projected hydrological regimes were assessed and coded using a traffic-light system (green for environmental flows met, amber minor variation, red major variation). For the first time, the results show spatial patterns of flow change and associated potential river ecosystem impacts across the wider European continent. Importantly, the findings indicate that climate change may be a more influential driver than water-use change in determining future river ecosystem health

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Poster)
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 1 - Variability and Change in Water Systems
CEH Sections: Acreman
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Poster published online at AGU Fall Meeting ePosters website
Additional Keywords: ecohydrology, hydroecology, river flow, climate change, Europe
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Hydrology
Date made live: 05 Jan 2012 11:28
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/16201

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