Streamflow, Climate Change, SWAT, CMIP5, PRISM


The current study evaluated the effect of climate change on regional streamflow using General Circulation Models (GCMs) from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) for the Pajaro River Watershed (PRW) in central California. The 1/8° latitude-longitude resolution bias-corrected and downscaled CMIP5 projections were utilized under four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6.0 and RCP8.5). Csiro-mk3-6 and canesm2 models projected an increase of 3.1°C in annual average daily maximum temperature and 3.4°C in annual average daily minimum temperature respectively in 2070-2099 period under RCP8.5 scenarios. The dry months would continue to receive diminished precipitation throughout the century. The streamflow was increasing on future January, and sporadically, in February months but diminished during the dry months. The future results suggested a shorter wet season and longer dry season within PRW. Considering multiple climate change scenarios and evaluating alternative setups provided a robust basis for hydrological assessment with reference to climate change.