Utilizing Multi-Ensemble of Downscaled CMIP5 GCMs to Investigate Trends and Spatial and Temporal Extent of Drought in Willamette Basin

Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Ali Ahmadalipour, Benjamin Beal and Hamid Moradkhani, Portland State University, Portland, OR, United States
Changing climate and potential future increases in global temperature are likely to have impacts on drought characteristics and hydrologic cylce. In this study, we analyze changes in temporal and spatial extent of meteorological and hydrological droughts in future, and their trends. Three statistically downscaled datasets from NASA Earth Exchange Global Daily Downscaled Projections (NEX-GDDP), Multivariate Adaptive Constructed Analogs (MACA), and Bias Correction and Spatial Disagregation (BCSD-PSU) each consisting of 10 CMIP5 Global Climate Models (GCM) are utilized for RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios. Further, Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) hydrologic model is used to simulate streamflow from GCM inputs and assess the hydrological drought characteristics. Standard Precipitation Index (SPI) and Streamflow Drought Index (SDI) are the two indexes used to investigate meteorological and hydrological drought, respectively. Study is done for Willamette Basin with a drainage area of 29,700 km2 accommodating more than 3 million inhabitants and 25 dams. We analyze our study for annual time scale as well as three future periods of near future (2010-2039), intermediate future (2040-2069), and far future (2070-2099). Large uncertainty is found from GCM predictions. Results reveal that meteorological drought events are expected to increase in near future. Severe to extreme drought with large areal coverage and several years of occurance is predicted around year 2030 with the likelihood of exceptional drought for both drought types. SPI is usually showing positive trends, while SDI indicates negative trends in most cases.