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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-189
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-189
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 23 May 2019

Research article | 23 May 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Hybrid climate datasets from a climate data evaluation system and their impacts on hydrologic simulations for the Athabasca River basin in Canada

Hyung-Il Eum1 and Anil Gupta1,2 Hyung-Il Eum and Anil Gupta
  • 1Alberta Environment and Parks, Environment Monitoring and Science Division, 3535 Research RoadNW, Calgary, Canada,T2L 2K8
  • 2Department of Geomatics Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Abstract. A reliable climate dataset is a backbone for modeling the essential processes of the water cycle and predicting future conditions. Although a number of gridded climate datasets are available for the North American content, which provide reasonable estimates of climatic conditions in the region, there are inherent inconsistencies in these available climate datasets (e.g., spatial and temporal varying data accuracies, meteorological parameters, length of records, spatial coverage, temporal resolution, etc). These inconsistencies raise a valid question as to which datasets are the most suitable for the study area and how to systematically combine these datasets to produce a reliable climate dataset for climate studies and hydrological modeling. This study suggested a framework, called reference reliability evaluation system (REFRES), that systematically determines a ranking of multiple climate datasets to generate a hybrid climate dataset for a region. To demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed framework, REFRES was applied to produce a historical hybrid climate dataset for the Athabasca River basin in Alberta, Canada. A proxy validation was also conducted to prove the applicability of the generated hybrid climate datasets to hydrologic simulations. This study evaluated five climate datasets, including station-based gridded climate datasets (ANUSPLIN, Alberta Township, and PNWNAmet), a multi-source gridded dataset (Canadian Precipiation Analysis – CaPA), and a reanalysis-based dataset (NARR). The results showed that the gridded climate interpolated from station data performed better than multi-source and reanalysis based climate datasets. For the Athabasca River basin, Township and ANUSPLIN were mostly ranked first for precipitation and temperature, respectively. The proxy validation also confirmed the superior performance of hybrid climate datasets compared with the other five individual climate datasets investigated in this study. These results indicate that the hybrid climate dataset provides a better representation of historical climatic conditions and thus, enhancing the reliability of hydrologic simulations.

Hyung-Il Eum and Anil Gupta
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Status: open (until 18 Jul 2019)
Status: open (until 18 Jul 2019)
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Hyung-Il Eum and Anil Gupta
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Short summary
As numerous high-resolution historical gridded climate datasets are available in Alberta, many previous works have simply combined multiple climate dataset to overcome the inconsistency in spatial boundary, which may result in unreliable outputs. This study suggested a systematic climate data evaluation system and generated a new performance-based climate dataset. This study proved that the new dataset is a better representation of historical climate conditions, enhancing hydrologic simulations.
As numerous high-resolution historical gridded climate datasets are available in Alberta, many...
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