Sensitivity of discharge and flood frequency to twenty-first century and late Holocene changes in climate and land use (River Meuse, northwest Europe)

P.J. Ward, H. Renssen, J.C.J.H. Aerts, P.H. Verburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We used a calibrated coupled climate–hydrological model to simulate Meuse discharge over the late Holocene (4000–3000 BP and 1000–2000 AD). We then used this model to simulate discharge in the twenty-first century under SRES emission scenarios A2 and B1, with and without future land use change. Mean discharge and medium-sized high-flow (e.g. Q99) frequency are higher in 1000–2000 AD than in 4000–3000 BP; almost all of this increase can be attributed to the conversion of forest to agriculture. In the twentieth century, mean discharge and the frequency of medium-sized high-flow events are higher than in the nineteenth century; this increase can be attributed to increased (winter half-year) precipitation. Between the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, anthropogenic climate change causes a further increase in discharge and medium-sized high-flow frequency; this increase is of a similar order of magnitude to the changes over the last 4,000 years. The magnitude of extreme flood events (return period 1,250-years) is higher in the twenty-first century than in any preceding period of the time-slices studied. In contrast to the long-term influence of deforestation on mean discharge, changes in forest cover have had little effect on these extreme floods, even on the millennial timescale.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-202
JournalClimatic Change
Volume106
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint

flood frequency
twenty first century
Holocene
land use
climate
river
return period
forest cover
nineteenth century
twentieth century
deforestation
land use change
Europe
timescale
agriculture
climate change
winter

Keywords

  • use change scenarios
  • water-balance
  • model output
  • impact
  • netherlands
  • belgium
  • future
  • variability
  • vegetation
  • catchment

Cite this

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title = "Sensitivity of discharge and flood frequency to twenty-first century and late Holocene changes in climate and land use (River Meuse, northwest Europe)",
abstract = "We used a calibrated coupled climate–hydrological model to simulate Meuse discharge over the late Holocene (4000–3000 BP and 1000–2000 AD). We then used this model to simulate discharge in the twenty-first century under SRES emission scenarios A2 and B1, with and without future land use change. Mean discharge and medium-sized high-flow (e.g. Q99) frequency are higher in 1000–2000 AD than in 4000–3000 BP; almost all of this increase can be attributed to the conversion of forest to agriculture. In the twentieth century, mean discharge and the frequency of medium-sized high-flow events are higher than in the nineteenth century; this increase can be attributed to increased (winter half-year) precipitation. Between the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, anthropogenic climate change causes a further increase in discharge and medium-sized high-flow frequency; this increase is of a similar order of magnitude to the changes over the last 4,000 years. The magnitude of extreme flood events (return period 1,250-years) is higher in the twenty-first century than in any preceding period of the time-slices studied. In contrast to the long-term influence of deforestation on mean discharge, changes in forest cover have had little effect on these extreme floods, even on the millennial timescale.",
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author = "P.J. Ward and H. Renssen and J.C.J.H. Aerts and P.H. Verburg",
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Sensitivity of discharge and flood frequency to twenty-first century and late Holocene changes in climate and land use (River Meuse, northwest Europe). / Ward, P.J.; Renssen, H.; Aerts, J.C.J.H.; Verburg, P.H.

In: Climatic Change, Vol. 106, No. 2, 2011, p. 179-202.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Sensitivity of discharge and flood frequency to twenty-first century and late Holocene changes in climate and land use (River Meuse, northwest Europe)

AU - Ward, P.J.

AU - Renssen, H.

AU - Aerts, J.C.J.H.

AU - Verburg, P.H.

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AB - We used a calibrated coupled climate–hydrological model to simulate Meuse discharge over the late Holocene (4000–3000 BP and 1000–2000 AD). We then used this model to simulate discharge in the twenty-first century under SRES emission scenarios A2 and B1, with and without future land use change. Mean discharge and medium-sized high-flow (e.g. Q99) frequency are higher in 1000–2000 AD than in 4000–3000 BP; almost all of this increase can be attributed to the conversion of forest to agriculture. In the twentieth century, mean discharge and the frequency of medium-sized high-flow events are higher than in the nineteenth century; this increase can be attributed to increased (winter half-year) precipitation. Between the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, anthropogenic climate change causes a further increase in discharge and medium-sized high-flow frequency; this increase is of a similar order of magnitude to the changes over the last 4,000 years. The magnitude of extreme flood events (return period 1,250-years) is higher in the twenty-first century than in any preceding period of the time-slices studied. In contrast to the long-term influence of deforestation on mean discharge, changes in forest cover have had little effect on these extreme floods, even on the millennial timescale.

KW - use change scenarios

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KW - belgium

KW - future

KW - variability

KW - vegetation

KW - catchment

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