Journal article

Evaluating four downscaling methods for assessment of climate change impact on ecological indicators

Jun Wang, Rory Nathan, Avril Horne, Murray C Peel, Yongping Wei, John Langford



Assessments of climate change impacts on freshwater ecosystems are generally based on global climate models (GCMs) and ecologically relevant “time-averaged” hydrological indicators derived from long-term records. Although uncertainties from GCMs have been recognized, the influence of downscaling methods remains unclear. This paper evaluates the influence of applying different downscaling methods of increasing complexity (annual scaling, monthly scaling, quantile scaling, and weather generator method) on the assessment of ecological outcomes. In addition to time-averaged indicators, “sequence-dependent” metrics which involve ecological dynamics by considering the impacts of flow sequencing ar..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Awarded by Australian Research Council Future Fellowship

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was partially supported by Australian Research Council Linkage Project (LP130100174). Murray Peel and Yongping Wei are the recipients of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (respectively, FT120100130 & FT130100274). We acknowledge the World Climate Research Programme's Working Group on Coupled Modelling, which is responsible for CMIP, and we thank the climate modelling groups (listed in Table B.1 of this paper) for producing and making available their model output. For CMIP the U.S. Department of Energy's Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison provides coordinating support and led development of software infrastructure in partnership with the Global Organization for Earth System Science Portals. The authors are grateful for the thoughtful comments provided by two anonymous reviewers, which prompted significant improvements to the manuscript.