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Climate Change Impact on Water and Salt Balances: An Assessment of the Impact of Climate Change on Catchment Salt and Water Balances in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia

Austin, Janet and Zhang, Lu and Jones, Roger N and Durack, Paul and Dawes, Warrick and Hairsine, Peter (2010) Climate Change Impact on Water and Salt Balances: An Assessment of the Impact of Climate Change on Catchment Salt and Water Balances in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia. Climatic Change, 100 (3-4). pp. 607-631. ISSN 0165-0009

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Abstract

Climate change has potentially significant implications for hydrology and the quantity and quality of water resources. This study investigated the impacts of climate change and revegetation on water and salt balance, and stream salt concentration for catchments within the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia. The Biophysical Capacity to Change model was used with climate change scenarios obtained using the CSIRO DARLAM 125 (125 km resolution) and Cubic Conformal (50 km resolution) regional climate models. These models predicted up to 25% reduction in mean annual rainfall and a similar magnitude of increase in potential evapotranspiration by 2070. Relatively modest changes in rainfall and temperature can lead to significant reductions in mean annual runoff and salt yield and increases in stream salt concentrations within the Basin. The modelled reductions in mean annual runoff were up to 45% in the wetter/cooler southern catchments and up to 64% in the drier/hotter western and northern catchments. The maximum reductions in salt yield were estimated to be up to 34% in the southern catchments and up to 49% in the northern and western catchments. These changes are associated with average catchment rainfall decreases of 13 to 21%. The results suggest that percentage changes in rainfall will be amplified in runoff. This study demonstrates that climate change poses significant challenges to natural resource management in Australia.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

Online: 1573-1480

Uncontrolled Keywords: ResPubID17916. climate change, climatic changes, water balance, salt balance, catchment salt, water catchments, watersheds, water resources, water quality, revegetation, salinity, climate models, global warming, hydrology, Murray-Darling Basin, Australia
Subjects: FOR Classification > 0502 Environmental Science and Management
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Other
FOR Classification > 0503 Soil Sciences
SEO Classification > 9603 Climate and Climate Change
FOR Classification > 0501 Ecological Applications
Depositing User: VUIR
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2011 05:08
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2015 05:10
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/4131
DOI: 10.1007/s10584-009-9714-z
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Citations in Scopus: 9 - View on Scopus

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