Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/hess-2016-387
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
07 Sep 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper is under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
Impact of climate change on water resources in a tropical West African catchment using an ensemble of climate simulations
Yacouba Yira1, Bernd Diekkrüger1, Gero Steup1, and Aymar Y. Bossa2,3 1Department of Geography, University of Bonn, Meckenheimer Allee 166, 53115 Bonn, Germany
2West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use-WASCAL, Ouagadougou 06 P.O. Box 9507, Burkina Faso
3Department of Hydrology and Water Resources Management, National Institute of Water, University of Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou 01 P.O. Box 526, Benin
Abstract. This study evaluates climate change impacts on water resources using an ensemble of six Regional Climate Models (RCMs)-Global Climate Models (GCMs) in the Dano catchment (Burkina Faso). The applied climate datasets were performed in the framework of the COordinated Regional climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX-Africa) project. After evaluation of the historical runs of the climate models ensemble, a statistical bias correction (Empirical Quantile Mapping) was applied to daily precipitation. Temperature and bias corrected precipitation data from the ensemble of RCMs-GCMs was then used as input for the Water flow and balance Simulation Model (WaSiM) to simulate water balance components. The mean hydrological and climate variables for two periods (1971–2000 and 2021–2050) were compared to assess the potential impact of climate change on water resources up to the middle of the twenty-first century under two greenhouse gas concentration scenarios, the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 4.5 and 8.5. The results indicate: (i) a clear signal of temperature increase of about 0.1 to 2.6 °C for all members of the RCMs-GCMs ensemble; (ii) high uncertainty about how the catchment precipitation will evolve over the period 2021–2050; (iii) individual climate models results lead to opposite discharge change signals; (iv) the RCMs-GCMs ensemble average suggests a +7 % increase in annual discharge under RCP4.5 and a −2 % decrease under RCP8.5; (v) the applied bias correction method only affected the magnitude of climate change signal. Therefore, potential increase and decrease of future discharge has to be considered in climate change adaptation strategies in the catchment. The results further underline on the one hand the need for a larger ensemble of projections to properly estimate the impacts of climate change on water resources in the catchment and on the other hand the high uncertainty associated with climate projections for the West African region. An ecohydrological analysis provides further insight into the behavior of the catchment.

Citation: Yira, Y., Diekkrüger, B., Steup, G., and Bossa, A. Y.: Impact of climate change on water resources in a tropical West African catchment using an ensemble of climate simulations, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/hess-2016-387, in review, 2016.
Yacouba Yira et al.
Yacouba Yira et al.
Yacouba Yira et al.

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Short summary
The current study aims to investigate the future climate change impacts on the hydrology of the Dano catchment in Burkina Faso, thus contributing to the management of water resources in the region. Temperature and bias corrected precipitation data from an ensemble of six RCMs-GCMs was used as input for the Water flow and balance Simulation Model to simulate water balance components. The results indicate potential increase and decrease of future discharge in the catchment.
The current study aims to investigate the future climate change impacts on the hydrology of the...
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