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Title: Attributing runoff changes to climate variability and human activities: Uncertainty analysis using four monthly water balance models

Hydrological simulations to delineate the impacts of climate variability and human activities are subjected to uncertainties related to both parameter and structure of the hydrological models. To analyze the impact of these uncertainties on the model performance and to yield more reliable simulation results, a global calibration and multimodel combination method that integrates the Shuffled Complex Evolution Metropolis (SCEM) and Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA) of four monthly water balance models was proposed. The method was applied to the Weihe River Basin (WRB), the largest tributary of the Yellow River, to determine the contribution of climate variability and human activities to runoff changes. The change point, which was used to determine the baseline period (1956-1990) and human-impacted period (1991-2009), was derived using both cumulative curve and Pettitt’s test. Results show that the combination method from SCEM provides more skillful deterministic predictions than the best calibrated individual model, resulting in the smallest uncertainty interval of runoff changes attributed to climate variability and human activities. This combination methodology provides a practical and flexible tool for attribution of runoff changes to climate variability and human activities by hydrological models.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, 30(1):251-269
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
runoff change; uncertainty assessment; monthly water balance models; SCEM; Bayesian Model Averaging