Evaluation of a Monthly Hydrological Model for Integrated Assessment Models

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 08:00
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The Integrated Assessment modeling (IAM) community, which generated the four representative concentration pathways (RCPs), is actively moving toward including endogenous representations of water supply and demand in their economic modeling frameworks. Toward integrating the water supply module, we build an efficient object-oriented and open-source hydrologic model (HM) to be embedded in IAMs – Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM). The main objective for this new HM is to strike a balance between model complexity and computational efficiency; i.e., possessing sufficient fidelity to capture both the annual and the seasonal signals of water fluxes and pools and being highly computationally efficient so that it can be used for large number of simulations or uncertainty quantification analyses. To this end, we build a monthly gridded hydrological model based on the ABCD model with some additional features such as a snow scheme and the effects of land use and land cover change (LULCC) on the hydrological cycle. In this framework, we mainly simulate the pools of soil moisture, snowpack and groundwater storage, and the fluxes of evapotranspiration, recharge to groundwater, direct runoff and groundwater discharge. We assess the performance of the model by comparing the model results against runoff simulation from the model of Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) as well as historical streamflow observations at various gauge stations. We will present results on the model performance, the gains of adding different model components (e.g., snow scheme, effects of LULCC), and the variations of hydrological cycle globally over the historical period of 1901-2010.

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