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CR 81:113-130 (2020)  -  DOI:

Climate projections in Lake Maggiore watershed using statistical downscaling model

Helmi Saidi, Claudia Dresti, Dario Manca, Marzia Ciampittiello

Water Research Institute, National Research Council, Largo Tonolli 50, 28922 Verbania Pallanza, Italy
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Precipitation and temperature over the Lake Maggiore watershed greatly influence its water balance. Local communities from both Italy and Switzerland rely on the watershed for agriculture, tourism and hydropower production. Accurate climate projections in this area are vital in dealing with their impacts and yet are still lacking. Future climate was assessed by applying the Statistical DownScaling Model (SDSM) and using CanESM2 predictors. Three scenarios defined by RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 were adopted. Based on our results, SDSM is to a certain degree applicable for simulating precipitation and temperature in an Alpine area. Results indicate that warming from now until the end of the century will be about 2 to 3 times greater without global mitigation. Temperature is estimated to increase throughout the 21st century, with a stronger warming trend in the northeastern part of the region than in the southwestern part. The strength of the warming at the end of the century highly depends on the scenario considered, with an increase up to 1.7°C for the mitigation scenario RCP2.6 compared to 4.2°C for the unmitigated scenario RCP8.5. Seasonal precipitation is expected to change depending on the future scenarios. Most of the region is expected to display a seasonally positive precipitation change during the cold season and vice versa, resulting in a shift in the peak rainy season from autumn to winter. These findings suggest that the area might be vulnerable to global change and will provide useful insight to develop a better strategy for the management of water resources and to study the adoptive measures to manage flood disasters.

KEY WORDS: SDSM · CanESM2 · Lake Maggiore · Alpine area · Precipitation · Temperature

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Cite this article as: Saidi H, Dresti C, Manca D, Ciampittiello M (2020) Climate projections in Lake Maggiore watershed using statistical downscaling model. Clim Res 81:113-130.

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