Climate Change and Characteristics of Streamflow in High Mountain Asia
Event Type: Hybrid (Zoom Access)
Speaker: Efthymios Nikolopoulos, Rutgers University
Changes in climate variables such as precipitation and temperature affect hydrological response of watersheds, water availability, and eventually, the socio-economic well-being of communities. The impact of climate change is more pronounced in mountain regions, especially those where glacier and snowmelt processes are important. High Mountain Asia (HMA) is one such region where the increase in temperature and corresponding changes in spatiotemporal variability and magnitude of precipitation impacts hydrologic processes and water resources significantly. In this work, we focus on investigating the effects of climate change on streamflow and other hydrologic fluxes, including snowmelt and ice melt over glacierized catchments in HMA. A distributed glacio-hydrological (HYMOD_DS) forced with statistically downscaled precipitation and temperature data derived from GFDL SPEAR CMIP6 are used for simulating future projections (2020-2100) of streamflow in different watersheds in HMA. The model simulations are used to quantify the impact of climate change at seasonal and decadal temporal scales. The regional dependence of climate change impact in HMA highlights the “hotspots” of future hydrologic changes and provides a map of future vulnerable regions, which is critical for making informed decisions on water resource management and other climate adaptation strategies.