2021
  • Non-ICIMOD publication

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Representative general circulation models selection and downscaling of climate data for the transboundary Koshi river basin in China and Nepal

  • Santosh Kaini
  • Santosh Nepal
  • Saurav Pradhananga
  • Ted Gardner
  • Ashok K. Sharma
  • Summary

The selection of general circulation models (GCMs) with high capability to represent the past and likely future climate for a specific geographical location is a crucial step to assess impacts of climate change on different sectors. This study included pool of 105 and 78 GCMs for representative concentration pathways (RCPs) 4.5 and 8.5, respectively, from Coupled Model Intercomparison Project—Phase 5, applied an advanced envelope‐based selection approach to select representative GCMs for the Koshi river basin in China and Nepal at short‐term (2016–2045), mid‐century (2036–2065) and end‐of‐century (2071–2100) periods, and developed range of possible future precipitation and temperature scenarios with high resolution downscaled data (10 × 10 km2), which is the novelty contribution of the study. Considering RCP4.5, average annual precipitation is expected to increase by 0–16%, 4–23% and 4–24% in the short‐term, mid‐century and end‐of‐century periods, respectively. Using RCP8.5, equivalent predictions are 6–20%, 6–36% and 13–49% in the short‐term, mid‐century and end‐of‐century periods, respectively. Average annual temperature is expected to increase, but with higher increases during winter than in the monsoon period. Considering RCP4.5, average annual temperature is expected to increase by 1–1.4°C, 1.3–1.9°C and 1.6–2.8°C in the short‐term, mid‐century and end‐of‐century periods, respectively. Similarly, using RCP8.5, equivalent predictions are 1–1.6°C, 1.8–2.9°C and 3.1–5.6°C in the short‐term, mid‐century and end‐of‐century periods, respectively. The ensemble mean of absolute change in average precipitation and temperature projects that High Himalaya and Tibet regions are more sensitive to climate change considering precipitation and temperature, respectively. The results also suggest that GCMs selection for a catchment varies with climate scenarios and specific future time periods.

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  • Journal:
    International Journal of Climatology(7 January 2020)
  • Language:
    English
  • Published Year:
    2021
  • External Link:
    External link (open access)