Original paper

Key concepts for the analysis of climate change impacts for river basin management in the River Danube

Klein, Bastian; Lingemann, Imke; Nilson, Enno; Krahe, Peter; Maurer, Thomas; Moser, Hans

Abstract

Climate changes as indicated e.g. by the climate projections of the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC will have an impact on the water quantity, water quality as well as ecological and economic functions of rivers. Due to the large uncertainties of the future climate evolution and the complexity of the system a “multi-model“ approach has to be used for the appropriate evaluation of possible measures of adaptation to climate change impacts in river basin management. This paper shows key concepts and preliminary results from ongoing research projects on the Danube River Basin (AdaptAlp, KLIWAS and ECCONET). These projects analyze the impact of climate change on the water balance with the semi-distributed water balance model “COSERO“ running with a monthly time step. Simulation runs of 23 Regional Climate Models from the EU-ENSEMBLES project are used as input. The span of results at the gauge Achleiten on the German-Austrian border (catchment area 76 660 km2) indicates changes in the runoff regime due to a changed snow regime. Regarding the mean annual runoff, the ensemble does not show an obvious tendency until mid-21st century (2021-2050), but points at a decreasing tendency between 0 and 30 % by the end of the 21st century (2071-2100).

Keywords

climate changeupper danubeensemblesmulti-model approachwater balance