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Gewählte Publikation:

Haslinger, K; Schoner, W; Abermann, J; Laaha, G; Andre, K; Olefs, M; Koch, R.
(2023): Apparent contradiction in the projected climatic water balance for Austria: wetter conditions on average versus higher probability of meteorological droughts
NAT HAZARD EARTH SYS. 2023; 23(8): 2749-2768. FullText FullText_BOKU

In this paper future changes of surface water availability in Austria are investigated. We use an ensemble of downscaled and bias-corrected regional climate model simulations of the EURO-CORDEX initiative under moderate mitigation (RCP4.5) and Paris Agreement (RCP2.6) emission scenarios. The climatic water balance and its components (rainfall, snow melt, glacier melt and atmospheric evaporative demand) are used as indicators of surface water availability, and we focus on different altitudinal classes (lowland, mountainous and high alpine) to depict a variety of processes in complex terrain. Apart from analysing the mean changes of these components, we also pursue a hazard risk approach by estimating future changes in return periods of meteorological drought events of a given magnitude as observed in the reference period. The results show, in general, wetter conditions over the course of the 21st century over Austria on an annual basis compared to the reference period 1981-2010 (e.g. RCP4.5 C107 mm, RCP2.6 C63mm for the period 2071-2100). Considering seasonal differences, winter and spring are getting wetter due to an increase in precipitation and a higher fraction of rainfall as a consequence of rising temperatures. In summer only little changes in the mean of the climatic water balance conditions are visible across the model ensemble (e.g. RCP4.5 +/- 0 mm, RCP2.6 -2mm for the period 2071-2100). On the contrary, by analysing changes in return periods of drought events, an increasing risk of moderate and extreme drought events during summer is apparent, a signal emerging within the climate system along with increasing warming.
Autor*innen der BOKU Wien:
Laaha Gregor

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