Jan 13, 2017

Climate change impact on hydroclimate regimes and extremes over Andean basins in the central-southern Chile

Deniz Bozkurt, Maisa Rojas, Jonás Valdivieso, and Mark Falvey
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
  • Examines the projections of hydroclimatic regimes and extremes over Andean basins in central Chile (∼ 30–40 S)
  • Uses daily precipitation and temperature data based on observations to drive and validate the VIC macro-scale hydrological model in the region of interest at a 0.25 × 0.25 degree resolution
  • Model simulations indicate decreases in annual runoff of about 40 % by the end of the century, larger that the projected precipitation decreases (up to 30 %)
  • Finds that center timing of runoff shifts to earlier dates, 3–5 weeks by the end of the century
  • Projects that the Andes snowpack will be less than half of the reference period by mid-century
  • Finds that the probability of having extended droughts, such as the recently experienced mega-drought (2010–2015), increases to up to 5 events/100 years
  • Finds, on the other hand, an increase in the frequency of flood events
  • Finds that the estimated return periods of annual maximum runoff events depict more drastic changes and increase in the flood risk as longer return periods are considered (e.g. 25-yr and 50-yr)