Climate Change Scenarios and Effects on Snow-Melt Runoff

Safieh Javadinejad, Rebwar Dara, Forough Jafary


Climate change is an important environmental issue, as progression of melting glaciers and snow cover is sensitive to climate alteration. The aim of this research was to model climate alterations forecasts, and to assess potential changes in snow cover and snow-melt runoff under the different climate change scenarios in the case study of the Zayandeh-rud River Basin. Three cluster models for climate change (NorESM1-M, IPSL-CM5A-LR and CSIRO-MK3.6.0) were applied under RCP 8.5, 4.5 and 2.6 scenarios, to examine climate influences on precipitation and temperature in the basin. Temperature and precipitation were determined for all three scenarios for four periods of 2021-2030, 2031-2040, 2041-2050 and 2051-2060. MODIS (MOD10A1) was also applied to examine snow cover using temperature and precipitation data. The relationship between snow-covered area, temperature and precipitation was used to forecast future snow cover. For modeling future snow melt runoff, a hydrologic model of SRM was used including input data of precipitation, temperature and snow cover. The results indicated that all three RCP scenarios lead to an increase in temperature, and reduction in precipitation and snow cover. Investigation in snowmelt runoff throughout the observation period (November 1970 to May 2006) showed that most of annual runoff is derived from snow melting. Maximum snowmelt runoff is generated in winter. The share of melt water in the autumn and spring runoff is estimated at 35 and 53%, respectively. The results of this study can assist water manager in making better decisions for future water supply.


Climate Change; Snow Cover; Snow Melt; SRM Model; RCP Scenarios.


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DOI: 10.28991/cej-2020-03091577


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