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Science of The Total Environment
Vol. 599-600, 20
17, Pages: 451–463

Environmental and economic risks assessment under climate changes for three land uses scenarios analysis across Teshio watershed, northernmost of Japan

Jie Chen, François P. Brissette, Philippe Lucas-Picher, Daniel Caya

State Key Laboratory of Water Resources & Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University, 299 Bayi Road, Wuchang Distinct, Wuhan, Hube 430072, China.


Weighting climate models is controversial in climate change impact studies using an ensemble of climate simulations from different climate models. In climate science, there is a general consensus that all climate models should be considered as having equal performance or in other words that all projections are equiprobable. On the other hand, in the impacts and adaptation community, many believe that climate models should be weighted based on their ability to better represent various metrics over a reference period. The debate appears to be partly philosophical in nature as few studies have investigated the impact of using weights in projecting future climate changes. The present study focuses on the impact of assigning weights to climate models for hydrological climate change studies. Five methods are used to determine weights on an ensemble of 28 global climate models (GCMs) adapted from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) database. Using a hydrological model, streamflows are computed over a reference (1961–1990) and future (2061–2090) periods, with and without post-processing climate model outputs. The impacts of using different weighting schemes for GCM simulations are then analyzed in terms of ensemble mean and uncertainty. The results show that weighting GCMs has a limited impact on both projected future climate in term of precipitation and temperature changes and hydrology in terms of nine different streamflow criteria. These results apply to both raw and post-processed GCM model outputs, thus supporting the view that climate models should be considered equiprobable.

Keywords: Weighting climate models; Climate model simulations; Climate change impacts; Hydrology.

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