Climate Change Impacts on Streamflow in Taiwan Catchments Based on Statistical Downscaling Data

  • Author(s): Yun-Ju Chen, Jung-Lien Chu, Ching-Pin Tung, and Keh Chia Yeh
  • DOI:


  • Keywords: RCP, Statistical downscaling, Water balance model, Variance, GCM
  • Citation: Chen, Y. J., J. L. Chu, C. P. Tung, and K. C. Yeh, 2016: Climate change impacts on streamflow in Taiwan catchments based on statistical downscaling data. Terr. Atmos. Ocean. Sci., 27, 741-755, doi: 10.3319/TAO.2016.07.20.01
  • A statistical downscaling approach is applied to assess streamflow impacts
  • Streamflow will increase during wet spells and decreased during dry spells
  • The comparisons of all GCMs and 20 selected GCMs  are no significant difference

This study investigated the streamflow impacts in wet and dry spells using a statistical downscaling projection method to obtain 5 km girds under four Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios. Two upstream catchments, the Dahan and Laonong Rivers were selected as the study areas. A water balance hydrological model, also known as the Generalized Watershed Loading Function model, was used to simulate the streamflow impacts. There are 126 projections from 41 general circulation models (GCMs) and 4 RCPs used in this analysis. The analytical results indicate that the streamflow impacts in different RCP scenarios are significant but vary with individual GCM’s projection. The variance of 20 selected GCMs is close to that of all other GCMs. Typically, more than 60% of GCMs project that in the early 21st century, streamflow in each RCP increases by 0 - 40% in wet spells and decrease by -40 ~ 0% for the Dahan River, but the streamflow increases during both wet and dry spells for the Laonong River. In the late 21st century, the streamflow decreases by 60% during dry spells in the Laonong River. Various predictions for the early and late 21st century show high variance of streamflow impacts. As such, decision makers must plan for reservoir operation and flexible water deployment adaptations during future dry spells.

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