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Identifying and quantifying the impact of climatic and non-climatic drivers on river discharge in Europe
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  • Julie Collignan,
  • Jan Polcher,
  • Sophie Bastin,
  • Pere Quintana-Seguí
Julie Collignan
Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique/IPSL - Ecole Polytechnique/CNRS

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Jan Polcher
Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique/CNRS
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Sophie Bastin
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Pere Quintana-Seguí
Observatori de l'Ebre (Universitat Ramon Llull - CSIC)
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Our water resources have changed over the last century through a combination of water management evolutions and climate change. Understanding and decomposing these drivers of discharge changes is essential to preparing and planning adaptive strategies. We propose a methodology combining a physical-based model to reproduce the natural behavior of river catchments and a parsimonious model to serve as a framework of interpretation, comparing the physical-based model outputs to observations of discharge trends. We show that over Europe, especially in the South, the dominant explanations for discharge trends are non-climatic factors. Still, in some catchments of Northern Europe, climate change seems to be the dominating driver of change. We hypothesize that the dominating non-climatic factors are irrigation development, groundwater pumping and other human water usage, which need to be taken into account in physical-based models to understand the main drivers of discharge and project future changes.
06 Mar 2024Submitted to ESS Open Archive
11 Mar 2024Published in ESS Open Archive