Climate Change and Water Cycle: Effect to Water Resources and their Utilization in Finland (ClimWater)

Background and objectives

The general objective of the research is to investigate how climate change will affect water resources and their use in Finland. The work is relevant for different sectors of society including hydro-power production, land use and construction in flood-risk areas, as well as flood prevention. The project is carried out by Finnish Meteorological Institute and Finnish Environment Institute.

In order to estimate future changes in climatological factors and their impacts on the water cycle, a combined climate-hydrological modeling approach is used: hydrological models are driven by data provided by climate model simulations. Projected changes in the water cycle will then be used to assess the environmental consequences in selected catchments of Finland, as well as the effects on water level regulation policies and practices.

The project involves interdisciplinary research ranging from geophysical remote sensing methodology development to water management. The project covers the fields of climate modelling, hydrological modelling and forecasting, satellite and other observational data analyses, Geographical Information System (GIS) analyses, climate change adaptation, and participatory policy analysis.

Work packages

The project includes 7 work packages.WP5-7 are carried out in Freshwater Centre in Finnish Environment Institute. In addition Geoinformatics Unit is involved in WP1 and WP6 and Environmental Policy Centre in WP7.

WP1. Advanced analysis of 30-year time-series of geophysical variables relevant to water cycle at terrestrial regions.

The analysis will focus on producing a multi-year dataset of Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) and Snow Extent (SE) including their statistical error estimates over the Northern Hemisphere. The obtained multi-year dataset including the yearly duration of the high-albedo season (mainly due to the snow cover) is then used for evaluating the performance of both climate and hydrological models.

WP5. Determination of hydrological scenarios for Finland.

This task will be carried out using the results of regional climate models bias corrected in WP4 as input to the operational nationwide hydrological model system of SYKE (WSFS). The outcome will include extreme values and distributions for key variables such as discharges in major rivers.

WP6. Analysis of results for end-use applications.

The task focuses on the assessment of consequences of the projected hydrological changes to hydro-power production, flood prevention and construction at different catchments.

WP7. Evaluation of water course regulation adaptation strategies.

In this task an exceptional flood event will be developed to the Kokemäenjoki water course. An optimization model will be developed and applied to generate alternative options to the water course regulation and to assess their impacts. The feasibility of alternatives will be discussed at a stakeholder workshop.

Further information

Chief Hydrologist Bertel Vehviläinen, Finnish Environmet Institute SYKE, [bertel.vehvilainen]

Published 2013-10-09 at 15:28, updated 2013-10-09 at 15:38