Journal of Hydrology, Volume 605

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Elsevier BV
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Impacts of future climate on the hydrology of a transboundary river basin in northeastern North America
Sujata Budhathoki | Prabin Rokaya | Karl–Erich Lindenschmidt

• Model benchmarking was performed using four different meteorological forcing data. • Calculation of water balance revealed the dominant hydrological processes. • Hydrological conditions under future climatic conditions were assessed. • Uncertainty in future flow projections were quantified. Climate change introduces substantial uncertainty in water resources planning and management. This is particularly the case for the river systems in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere that are more vulnerable to global change. The situation becomes more challenging when there is a limited hydrological understanding of the basin. In this study, we assessed the impacts of future climate on the hydrology of the Saint John River Basin (SJRB), which is an important transboundary coastal river basin in northeastern North America. We also additionally performed model benchmarking for the SJRB using four different meteorological forcing datasets. Using the best performing forcing data and model parameters, we studied the water balance of the basin. Our results show that meteorological forcing data play a pivotal role in model performance and therefore can introduce a large degree of uncertainty in hydrological modelling. The analysis of the water balance highlights that runoff and evapotranspiration account for about 99% of the total basin precipitation, with each constituting approximately 50%. The simulation of future flows projects higher winter discharges, but summer flows are estimated to decrease in the 2041–2070 and 2071–2100 periods compared to the baseline period (1991–2020). However, the evaluation of model errors indicates higher confidence in the result that future winter flows will increase, but lower confidence in the results that future summer flows will decrease.

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Assessing extremes in hydroclimatology: A review on probabilistic methods
Sofia D. Nerantzaki | Simon Michael Papalexiou

• Comprehensive and extended review on probabilistic methods for hydroclimatic extremes. • Synthesis of methods used in analyses of extremes in precipitation, streamflow and temperature. • Over 20 probability distribution estimation methods in 25 comparative studies reviewed. • Identification of most promising contemporary probabilistic methods. Here we review methods used for probabilistic analysis of extreme events in Hydroclimatology. We focus on streamflow, precipitation, and temperature extremes at regional and global scales. The review has four thematic sections: (1) probability distributions used to describe hydroclimatic extremes, (2) comparative studies of parameter estimation methods, (3) non-stationarity approaches, and (4) model selection tools. Synthesis of the literature shows that: (1) recent studies, in general, agree that precipitation and streamflow extremes should be described by heavy-tailed distributions, (2) the Method of Moments (MOM) is typically the first choice in estimating distribution parameters but it is outperformed by methods such as L-Moments (LM), Maximum Likelihood (ML), Least Squares (LS), and Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo (BMCMC), (3) there are less popular parameter estimation techniques such as the Maximum Product of Spacings (MPS), the Elemental Percentile (EP), and the Minimum Density Power Divergence Estimator (MDPDE) that have shown competitive performance in fitting extreme value distributions, and (4) non-stationary analyses of extreme events are gaining popularity; the ML is the typically used method, yet literature suggests that the Generalized Maximum Likelihood (GML) and the Weighted Least Squares (WLS) may be better alternatives. The review offers a synthesis of past and contemporary methods used in the analysis of hydroclimatic extremes, aiming to highlight their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, the comparative studies summary helps the reader identify the most suitable modeling framework for their analyses, based on the extreme hydroclimatic variables, sample sizes, locations, and evaluation metrics reviewed.