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Impact of correcting sub-daily climate model biases for hydrological studies


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Faghih, Mina, Brissette, François and Sabeti, Parham. 2022. « Impact of correcting sub-daily climate model biases for hydrological studies ». Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, vol. 26, nº 6. pp. 1545-1563.
Compte des citations dans Scopus : 8.

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The study of climate change impact on water resources has accelerated worldwide over the past 2 decades. An important component of such studies is the bias-correction step, which accounts for spatiotemporal biases present in climate model outputs over a reference period, and which allows for realistic streamflow simulations using future climate scenarios. Most of the literature on bias correction focuses on daily scale climate model temporal resolution. However, a large amount of regional and global climate simulations are becoming increasingly available at the sub-daily time step, and even extend to the hourly scale, with convection-permitting models exploring sub-hourly time resolution. Recent studies have shown that the diurnal cycle of variables simulated by climate models is also biased, which raises issues respecting the necessity (or not) of correcting such biases prior to generating streamflows at the sub-daily timescale. This paper investigates the impact of bias-correcting the diurnal cycle of climate model outputs on the computation of streamflow over 133 small to large North American catchments. A standard hydrological modeling chain was set up using the temperature and precipitation outputs from a high spatial (0.11∘) and temporal (1 h) regional climate model large ensemble (ClimEx-LE). Two bias-corrected time series were generated using a multivariate quantile mapping method, with and without correction of the diurnal cycles of temperature and precipitation. The impact of this correction was evaluated on three small (< 500 km2), medium (between 500 and 1000 km2), and large (> 1000 km2) surface area catchment size classes. Results show relatively small (3 % to 5 %) but systematic decreases in the relative error of most simulated flow quantiles when bias-correcting the diurnal cycle of precipitation and temperature. There was a clear relationship with catchment size, with improvements being most noticeable for the small catchments. The diurnal cycle correction allowed for hydrological simulations to accurately represent the diurnal cycle of summer streamflow in small catchments. Bias-correcting the diurnal cycle of precipitation and temperature is therefore recommended when conducting impact studies at the sub-daily timescale on small catchments.

Item Type: Peer reviewed article published in a journal
Brissette, François
Affiliation: Génie de la construction
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2022 19:05
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2022 13:41

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