Main content area

Climate Change Impact Assessment on Water Resources and Susceptible Zones Identification in the Asian Monsoon Region

Bae, Deg-Hyo, Koike, Toshio, Awan, Jehangir Ashraf, Lee, Moon-Hwan, Sohn, Kyung-Hwan
Water resources management 2015 v.29 no.14 pp. 5377-5393
General Circulation Models, atmospheric precipitation, autumn, climate change, glaciers, hydrologic models, latitude, monsoon season, runoff, spring, summer, temperature, water resources, winter, China, India, Pakistan, Polar Regions, Thar Desert
This study investigated the future climate change impacts on water resources and delineated the highly susceptible zones in the Asian monsoon region. Three General Circulation Models (GCMs) were employed for future climate change projections. The change factor method with bilinear interpolation was used to project climate change at 0.5° horizontal gird resolution. The Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) macroscale hydrological model was employed to project runoff using future climate change scenarios. Average temperature, precipitation and runoff were projected to increase by all future periods i.e., 2020s, 2050s and 2080s. In particular by 2080s, they were projected to increase by 3.7 °C, 10.7 and 11.1 %, respectively. Latitudinal and longitudinal analysis was performed to investigate the features of future climate change at different latitudes and longitudes. The climate change projections revealed susceptible regions in East Asia over southern China, and in South Asia over the Tibetan plateau, India and Pakistan. Southern China was projected to be adversely affected by climate change with precipitation and runoff increase during summer and autumn seasons, and decrease during winter and spring seasons. Similarly, distinct climate change features were projected over the Tibetan plateau and north Pakistan with significant increase of average annual temperature and decrease of average annual precipitation and runoff. This change is alarming for the world’s longest glaciers outside the Polar Regions. On the other hand, the precipitation and runoff were projected to significantly increase over southwest India and south Pakistan. That may have positive impact over extremely water-scarce regions i.e., the Thar Desert, the Cholistan Desert and the Kharan Desert, but also poses a serious threat to the flood prone areas of South India and Pakistan.