Lunch talk by BSc. Hildemar Houtenbos (University of Twente)

Title: “Impacts of climate change on drought in Meuse Basin”
A new method to assess the impacts of climate change on drought based on output of regional climate models.”

Abstract of the presentation:

It is obvious that a change in climate will affect drought. However the magnitude of climate change is uncertain and therefore the impacts of climate change on drought as well. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is applied to identify drought. This method is applied at multiple time scales and therefore different definitions of drought are assessed. In this research the meteorological, agricultural and hydrological drought is taken into account. The quality of the climate models to simulate drought is assessed by comparing the simulated value of multiple drought indicators with the observed value. All drought indicators combined will reveal the number of drought events and their characteristics. Furthermore the spatial and temporal variability is assessed by the drought indicators. Overall it seems that the RCMs have difficulty in simulating the observed drought. Furthermore it seems that a more temporal variable climate than observed is simulated. The impact analysis showed that it is likely that for all time scales there is an increase in the number of drought events and an increase in duration, deficit and intensity of these events. Furthermore the spatial extent of these events will increase as well. The magnitude of these impacts is for most drought indicators large (more than 10%). For the end of the 21st century there are large impacts projected for drought in the Meuse basin.