Impacts of climate change on the hydrological cycle over France and associated uncertainties

Dayon, Gildas ; Bo, Julien ; Martin, ric ; Gailhard, Jol

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<p align=justify>This study deals with the evolution of the hydrological cycle over France during the 21st century. A large multi-member, multi-scenario, and multi-model ensemble of climate projections is downscaled with a new statistical method to drive a physically-based hydrological model with recent improvements. For a business-as-usual scenario, annual precipitation changes generally remain small, except over southern France, where decreases close to 20% are projected. Annual streamflows roughly decrease by 10% (20%) on the Seine, by 20% (20%) on the Loire, by 20% (15%) on the Rhone and by 40% (15%) on the Garonne. Attenuation measures, as implied by the other scenarios analyzed, lead to less severe changes. However, even with a scenario generally compatible with a limitation of global warming to two degrees, some notable impacts may still occur, with for example a decrease in summer river flows close to 25% for the Garonne.</p>
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