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Water 2017, 9(3), 226; doi:10.3390/w9030226

Modeling Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Streamflow Using Projections of the 5th Assessment Report for the Bernam River Basin, Malaysia

1
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2
Faculty of Sustainable Agriculture, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Jalan UMS, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
3
Water Resources Research Centre and Climate Change, NAHRIM, 43300 Seri Kembangan, Selangor, Malaysia
4
Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Franco Salerno
Received: 17 January 2017 / Revised: 7 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources)
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Abstract

Potential impacts of climate change on the streamflow of the Bernam River Basin in Malaysia are assessed using ten Global Climate Models (GCMs) under three Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP4.5, RCP6.0 and RCP8.5). A graphical user interface was developed that integrates all of the common procedures of assessing climate change impacts, to generate high resolution climate variables (e.g., rainfall, temperature, etc.) at the local scale from large-scale climate models. These are linked in one executable module to generate future climate sequences that can be used as inputs to various models, including hydrological and crop models. The generated outputs were used as inputs to the SWAT hydrological model to simulate the hydrological processes. The evaluation results indicated that the model performed well for the watershed with a monthly R2, Nash–Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) and Percent Bias (PBIAS) values of 0.67, 0.62 and −9.4 and 0.62, 0.61 and −4.2 for the calibration and validation periods, respectively. The multi-model projections show an increase in future temperature (tmax and tmin) in all respective scenarios, up to an average of 2.5 °C for under the worst-case scenario (RC8.5). Rainfall is also predicted to change with clear variations between the dry and wet season. Streamflow projections also followed rainfall pattern to a great extent with a distinct change between the dry and wet season possibly due to the increase in evapotranspiration in the watershed. In principle, the interface can be customized for the application to other watersheds by incorporating GCMs’ baseline data and their corresponding future data for those particular stations in the new watershed. Methodological limitations of the study are also discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; SWAT hydrological model; streamflow; Bernam River Basin; Malaysia climate change; SWAT hydrological model; streamflow; Bernam River Basin; Malaysia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dlamini, N.S.; Kamal, M.R.; Soom, M.A.B.M.; Mohd, M.S.F.; Abdullah, A.F.B.; Hin, L.S. Modeling Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Streamflow Using Projections of the 5th Assessment Report for the Bernam River Basin, Malaysia. Water 2017, 9, 226.

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