Probabilistic impacts of climate change on flood frequency using response surfaces I: England and Wales

Kay, A.L. ORCID:; Crooks, S.M.; Davies, H.N.; Prudhomme, C.; Reynard, N.S. ORCID: 2014 Probabilistic impacts of climate change on flood frequency using response surfaces I: England and Wales. Regional Environmental Change, 14 (3). 1215-1227.

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The impacts of climate change on hydrology are an important focus of research around the world, but use of large ensembles to drive impact models is not necessarily straightforward and has to be re-done when new projections are released. Here an alternative sensitivity framework approach is demonstrated, using a set of typical response surfaces alongside the probabilistic UK Climate Projections (UKCP09). These projections comprise sets of 10,000 changes in a number of variables, available for 10 river-basin regions covering England and Wales. Estimates of the potential range of impacts on 20-year return period flood peaks are presented for different types of catchment in each region. Regional average impact ranges are compared for a number of time-horizons and emissions scenarios. Results show clear differences in impacts between catchments of different types and between regions. South-East England has the highest impacts with the greatest uncertainty range, while the Dee region has the lowest impacts and smallest uncertainty range. Regional differences are due to both spatial differences in projections and a differing regional balance in the number of catchments of each type. Ease of application of multiple projections is a clear advantage of this sensitivity-based approach to impact assessment, which could be extended to other regions and sectors.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 1 - Variability and Change in Water Systems > WA - 1.3 - Model, attribute and predict impacts of climate and land cover change on hydrological and freshwater systems
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Boorman (to September 2014)
ISSN: 1436-3798
Additional Keywords: response surfaces, climate change, floods, adaptation, UKCP09
NORA Subject Terms: Hydrology
Date made live: 16 Dec 2013 15:37 +0 (UTC)

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