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Water-supply -- Effect of climatic change on, Hydrologic models -- Data processing


Climate change is expected to have severe impacts on global hydrological cycle along with food-water-energy nexus. Currently, there are many climate models used in predicting important climatic variables. Though there have been advances in the field, there are still many problems to be resolved related to reliability, uncertainty, and computing needs, among many others. In the present work, we have analyzed performance of 20 different global climate models (GCMs) from Climate Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) dataset over the Columbia River Basin (CRB) in the Pacific Northwest USA. We demonstrate a statistical multicriteria approach, using univariate and multivariate techniques, for selecting suitable GCMs to be used for climate change impact analysis in the region. Univariate methods includes mean, standard deviation, coefficient of variation, relative change (variability), Mann-Kendall test, and Kolmogorov-Smirnov test (KS-test); whereas multivariate methods used were principal component analysis (PCA), singular value decomposition (SVD), canonical correlation analysis (CCA), and cluster analysis. The analysis is performed on raw GCM data, i.e., before bias correction, for precipitation and temperature climatic variables for all the 20 models to capture the reliability and nature of the particular model at regional scale. The analysis is based on spatially averaged datasets of GCMs and observation for the period of 1970 to 2000. Ranking is provided to each of the GCMs based on the performance evaluated against gridded observational data on various temporal scales (daily, monthly, and seasonal). Results have provided insight into each of the methods and various statistical properties addressed by them employed in ranking GCMs. Further; evaluation was also performed for raw GCM simulations against different sets of gridded observational dataset in the area.


This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Theoretical and Applied Climatology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 2015 and can be found online at:



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