- Impact of climate change on renewable groundwater resources: assessing the benefits of avoided greenhouse gas emissions using selected CMIP5 climate projections (2013)
- Reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to minimize climate change requires very significant societal effort. To motivate this effort, it is important to clarify the benefits of avoided emissions. To this end, we analysed the impact of four emissions scenarios on future renewable groundwater resources, which range from 1600 GtCO2 during the 21st century (RCP2.6) to 7300 GtCO2 (RCP8.5). Climate modelling uncertainty was taken into account by applying the bias-corrected output of a small ensemble of five CMIP5 global climate models (GCM) as provided by the ISI-MIP effort to the global hydrological model WaterGAP. Despite significant climate model uncertainty, the benefits of avoided emissions with respect to renewable groundwater resources (i.e. groundwater recharge (GWR)) are obvious. The percentage of projected global population (SSP2 population scenario) suffering from a significant decrease of GWR of more than 10% by the 2080s as compared to 1971–2000 decreases from 38% (GCM range 27–50%) for RCP8.5 to 24% (11–39%) for RCP2.6. The population fraction that is spared from any significant GWR change would increase from 29% to 47% if emissions were restricted to RCP2.6. Increases of GWR are more likely to occur in areas with below average population density, while GWR decreases of more than 30% affect especially (semi)arid regions, across all GCMs. Considering change of renewable groundwater resources as a function of mean global temperature (GMT) rise, the land area that is affected by GWR decreases of more than 30% and 70% increases linearly with global warming from 0 to 3 ° C. For each degree of GMT rise, an additional 4% of the global land area (except Greenland and Antarctica) is affected by a GWR decrease of more than 30%, and an additional 1% is affected by a decrease of more than 70%.
- Global-Scale Estimation of Diffuse Groundwater Recharge : Model Tuning to Local Data for Semi-Arid and Arid Regions and Assessment of Climate Change Impact (2005)
- Groundwater recharge is the major limiting factor for the sustainable use of groundwater. To support water management in a globalized world, it is necessary to estimate, in a spatially resolved way, global-scale groundwater recharge. In this report, improved model estimates of diffuse groundwater recharge at the global-scale, with a spatial resolution of 0.5° by 0.5°, are presented. They are based on calculations of the global hydrological model WGHM (WaterGAP Global Hydrology Model) which, for semi-arid and arid areas of the globe, was tuned against independent point estimates of diffuse groundwater recharge. This has led to a decrease of estimated groundwater recharge under semi-arid and arid conditions as compared to the model results before tuning, and the new estimates are more similar to country level data on groundwater recharge. Using the improved model, the impact of climate change on groundwater recharge was simulated, applying two greenhouse gas emissions scenarios as interpreted by two different climate models.