Predicting climate change impacts on water resources in the tropical Andes: Effects of GCM uncertainty



[1] There is a strong demand from policy makers for predictions about the potential impacts of climate change on water resources. Integrated environmental models, combining climatic and hydrologic models, are often used for this purpose. This paper examines the impact of uncertainties related to GCMs in hydrological impact studies in the tropical Andes. A conceptual hydrological model is calibrated on data from four mesoscale, mountainous catchments in south Ecuador. The model inputs are then perturbed with anomalies projected by 20 GCMs available from the IPCC Data Distribution Centre. The results show that on average, the average monthly discharge is not expected to change dramatically. However, the simulated discharges driven by different global climate model forcing data can diverge widely, with prediction ranges often surpassing current discharge.