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Muerth, Markus and Gauvin St-Denis, B. and Ludwig, R. and Caya, D. (2012): Evaluation of different sources of uncertainty in climate change impact research using a hydro-climatic model ensemble. International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software (iEMSs), 1. - 5. Juli 2012, Leipzig, Deutschland.
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Abstract

The international research project QBic3 (Quebec-Bavarian Collaboration on Climate Change) aims at investigating the potential impacts of climate change on the hydrology of regional scale catchments in Southern Quebec (Canada) and Bavaria (Germany). Yet, the actual change in river runoff characteristics during the next 70 years is highly uncertain due to a multitude of uncertainty sources. The so-called hydro-climatic ensemble that is constructed to describe the uncertainties of this complex model chain consists of four different global climate models, downscaled by three different regional climate models, an exchangeable bias correction algorithm, a separate method to scale RCM outputs to the hydrological model scale and several hydrological models of differing complexity to assess the impact of different hydro model concepts. This choice of models and scenarios allows for the inter-comparison of the uncertainty ranges of climate and hydrological models, of the natural variability of the climate system as well as of the impact of scaling and correction of climate data on mean, high and low flow conditions. A methodology to display the relative importance of each source of uncertainty is proposed and results for past runoff and potential future changes are presented.