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Effects of Climate Change on Water Resources and Runoff in an Alpine Basin

K. Seidel, C. Ehrler and J. Martinec
Western Snow Conference (WSC), Banff, Alberta, Canada


The combined influence of increased temperatures and changed precipitation on the seasonal snow cover and runoff is evaluated for the upper Rhine basin at Felsberg (3250 km2, 560-3614 m a.s.l.). The runoff regime reflects the snow accumulation in the winter half year and snowmelt in the summer half year. The method of predicting future runoff regimes is based on high resolution periodical snow cover mapping by satellites in order to evaluate the climate-affected snow cover and runoff by the SRM-ETH model. Conditions of the present climate are represented by a normalised year. Snow conditions and yearly hydrographs are evaluated for the years 2030 and 2100 according to the given climate scenarios for this region. Quantitative results indicate the decrease of the snow accumulation on 1 April as well as the seasonal redistribution and changes of runoff.

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  author = {K. Seidel and C. Ehrler and J. Martinec},
  title = {Effects of Climate Change on Water Resources and Runoff in an Alpine Basin},
  booktitle = {Western Snow Conference (WSC), Banff, Alberta, Canada},
  year = {1997},
  keywords = {remote sensing, model-based, Climate Change, Water resources, Runoff}