Effect of climate change on environmental flow indicators in the Narew Basin, Poland

Piniewski, Mikolaj; Laize, Cedric L.R.; Acreman, Michael C.; Okruszko, Tomasz; Schneider, Christof. 2011 Effect of climate change on environmental flow indicators in the Narew Basin, Poland. In: 2011 International SWAT Conference & Workshops - Toledo, Spain, Toledo, Spain, 15-17 June 2011. (Unpublished)

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This paper discusses the effect of climate change on environmental flows in the semi-natural lowland rivers in north-eastern Poland. The analysed rivers belong to the Narew basin occupying ca. 28.000 km2. This region is known for its valuable river and wetland ecosystems, many of them in pristine or largely un-impacted conditions. Although many factors have influence on the state of these types of ecosystems, it has recently been widely accepted that flow regime is a key driver. This has led to the development of the environmental flows concept. The objective of this study was to assess changes in environmental flow regime of the Narew river system, caused by climate change, as simulated by hydrological models with different modelling scale: (1) Soil & Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), a river basin scale model; (2) WaterGAP, a global model of water availability and use. The main feature differentiating these models is the level of spatial aggregation of hydrological processes. Both models were run using consistent climate change forcing, in terms of monthly precipitation and temperature changes projected from two General Circulation Models (GCMs) coupled with the A2 emission scenario: (1) IPSL-CM4 from the Institute Pierre Simon Laplace, France; (2) MIROC 3.2 from the Center for Climate System Research, University of Tokyo, Japan. To assess the impact of climate change on environmental flows, we used a method based conceptually on the Range of Variability Approach (RVA) using Indicators of Hydrological Alteration (IHA), a desk-top technique for assessing if environmental flow requirements are met. Preliminary results indicate that environmental flow regime in the Narew basin is subject to climate change risk, whose magnitude varies with climate model and hydrological modelling scale

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Paper)
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 2 - Ecohydrological Processes > WA - 2.3 - Assess the responses of river, lake and wetland ecosystems to ecohydrological drivers
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Acreman
Additional Keywords: environmental flows, SWAT, WaterGAP, climate change
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
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Date made live: 25 Jul 2013 12:44 +0 (UTC)

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