Climate Change Effects on Hydropower Potential in the Alcantara River Basin in Sicily (Italy)

G. T. Aronica Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Informatica, Edile, Ambientale e Matematica Applicata, Università di Messina, Messina, Italy

Search for other papers by G. T. Aronica in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
and
B. Bonaccorso Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Informatica, Edile, Ambientale e Matematica Applicata, Università di Messina, Messina, Italy

Search for other papers by B. Bonaccorso in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to hydropower generation, since it is a renewable, efficient, and reliable source of energy, as well as an effective tool to reduce the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases resulting from human activities. At the same time, however, hydropower is among the most vulnerable industries to global warming, because water resources are closely linked to climate changes. Indeed, the effects of climate change on water availability are expected to affect hydropower generation with special reference to southern countries, which are supposed to face dryer conditions in the next decades. The aim of this paper is to qualitatively assess the impact of future climate change on the hydrological regime of the Alcantara River basin, eastern Sicily (Italy), based on Monte Carlo simulations. Synthetic series of daily rainfall and temperature are generated, based on observed data, through a first-order Markov chain and an autoregressive moving average (ARMA) model, respectively, for the current scenario and two future scenarios at 2025. In particular, relative changes in the monthly mean and standard deviation values of daily rainfall and temperature at 2025, predicted by the Hadley Centre Coupled Model, version 3 (HadCM3) for A2 and B2 greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, are adopted to generate future values of precipitation and temperature. Synthetic series for the two climatic scenarios are then introduced as input into the Identification of Unit Hydrographs and Component Flows from Rainfall, Evapotranspiration and Streamflow Data (IHACRES) model to simulate the hydrological response of the basin. The effects of climate change are investigated by analyzing potential modification of the resulting flow duration curves and utilization curves, which allow a site's energy potential for the design of run-of-river hydropower plants to be estimated.

Corresponding author address: G. T. Aronica, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Informatica, Edile, Ambientale e Matematica Applicata, Università di Messina, Strada Panoramica dello Stretto, 98166 S. Agata, Messina, Italy. E-mail address: garonica@unime.it

This article is included in the Human Impact on Climate Extremes for Water Resources Infrastructure Design, Operations, and Risk Management special collection.

Abstract

In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to hydropower generation, since it is a renewable, efficient, and reliable source of energy, as well as an effective tool to reduce the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases resulting from human activities. At the same time, however, hydropower is among the most vulnerable industries to global warming, because water resources are closely linked to climate changes. Indeed, the effects of climate change on water availability are expected to affect hydropower generation with special reference to southern countries, which are supposed to face dryer conditions in the next decades. The aim of this paper is to qualitatively assess the impact of future climate change on the hydrological regime of the Alcantara River basin, eastern Sicily (Italy), based on Monte Carlo simulations. Synthetic series of daily rainfall and temperature are generated, based on observed data, through a first-order Markov chain and an autoregressive moving average (ARMA) model, respectively, for the current scenario and two future scenarios at 2025. In particular, relative changes in the monthly mean and standard deviation values of daily rainfall and temperature at 2025, predicted by the Hadley Centre Coupled Model, version 3 (HadCM3) for A2 and B2 greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, are adopted to generate future values of precipitation and temperature. Synthetic series for the two climatic scenarios are then introduced as input into the Identification of Unit Hydrographs and Component Flows from Rainfall, Evapotranspiration and Streamflow Data (IHACRES) model to simulate the hydrological response of the basin. The effects of climate change are investigated by analyzing potential modification of the resulting flow duration curves and utilization curves, which allow a site's energy potential for the design of run-of-river hydropower plants to be estimated.

Corresponding author address: G. T. Aronica, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Informatica, Edile, Ambientale e Matematica Applicata, Università di Messina, Strada Panoramica dello Stretto, 98166 S. Agata, Messina, Italy. E-mail address: garonica@unime.it

This article is included in the Human Impact on Climate Extremes for Water Resources Infrastructure Design, Operations, and Risk Management special collection.

Save
  • Aronica, G. T., 2007: Continuous-time modelling of hydrologic time series hydrological conceptual models. Water Resources Assessment under Water Scarcity Scenarios, G. La Loggia, G.T. Aronica, and G. Ciraolo, Eds., CSDU, 179–200.

  • Aronica, G. T., C. Corrao, A. Amengual, S. Alonso, and R. Romero, 2005: Water resources evaluation under climatic trend effects in Mediterranean catchments. Geophys. Res. Abstr., 7, 04091.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Arora, V. K., and G. J. Boer, 2001: Effects of simulated climate change on the hydrology of major river basins. J. Geophys. Res., 106 (D4), 33353348.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bates, B. C., Z. W. Kundzewicz, S. Wu, and J. P. Palutikof, 2008: Climate change and water. International Panel on Climate Change Tech. Rep. 6, 214 pp.

  • Bernstein, L., and Coauthors, 2007: Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. IPCC, 104 pp.

  • Beven, K. J., 2001: Rainfall-Runoff Modelling: The Primer. John Wiley & Sons, 372 pp.

  • Beven, K. J., and A. M. Binley, 1992: The future of distributed models—Model calibration and uncertainty prediction. Hydrol. Processes, 6, 279298.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bras, R. L., and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, 1993: Random Functions and Hydrology. Dover, 559 pp.

  • Candela, A., G. Aronica, and G. Viviani, 2002: Quali-quantitative response of a natural catchment on a daily basis. Proc. Second Int. Conf. New Trends in Water and Environmental Engineering for Safety and Life: Eco-compatible Solutions for Aquatic Environments, Capri, Italy, 152–153.

  • Candela, L., W. Von Igel, and G. T. Aronica, 2009: Impact assessment of combined climate and management scenarios on groundwater resources and associated wetland (Majorca, Spain). J. Hydrol., 376 (3–4), 510527.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Christensen, J. H., and Coauthors, 2007: Regional climate projections. Climate Change, 2007: The Physical Science Basis, S. Solomon et al., Eds., Cambridge University Press, 847–940.

  • Dibike, Y. B., and P. Coulibaly, 2005: Hydrologic impact of climate change in the Saguenay watershed: Comparison of downscaling methods and hydrologic models. J. Hydrol., 307 (1–4), 145163.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Di Marco, S., and A. Licciardello, 2005: Studio preliminare di sistemazione idraulica per la realizzazione di sbarramenti in subalveo a salvaguardia delle risorse idriche superficiali e profonde del fiume Alcantara (in Italian). Ente Parco Fluviale dell'Alcantara Rep., 45 pp.

  • Fowler, H. J., M. Ekstroem, S. Blenkinsop, and A. P. Smith, 2007: Estimating change in extreme European precipitation using a multimodel ensemble. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D18104, doi:10.1029/2007JD008619.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gabriel, K. R., and J. Neumann, 1962: A Markov chain model for daily rainfall occurrences at Tel Aviv. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 88, 9095.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gain, A. K., W. W. Immerzeel, F. C. Sperna Weiland, and M. F. P. Bierkens, 2011: Impact of climate change on the stream flow of the lower Brahmaputra: Trends in high and low flows based on discharge-weighted ensemble modelling. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 15371545.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gordon, C., C. Cooper, C. A. Senior, H. Banks, J. M. Gregory, T. C. Johns, J. F. B. Mitchell, and R. A. Wood, 2000: The simulation of SST, sea ice extents and ocean heat transport in a version of the Hadley Center coupled model without flux adjustments. Climate Dyn., 16, 147168.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Haan, C. T., D. M. Allen, and J. O. Street, 1976: A Markov chain model for daily rainfall. Water Resour. Res., 12, 443449.

  • Hamlet, A. F., and D. P. Lettenmaier, 2007. Effects of 20th century warming and climate variability on flood risk in the western U.S. Water Resour. Res.,43, W06427, doi:10.1029/2006WR005099.

  • Hanssen-Bauer, I., C. Achberger, R. E. Benestad, D. Chen, and E. J. Førland, 2005: Statistical downscaling of climate scenarios over Scandinavia. Climate Res., 29, 255268.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jakeman, A. J., and G. M. Hornberger, 1993: How much complexity is warranted in a rainfall-runoff model? Water Resour. Res., 29, 26372649.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jakeman, A. J., I. G. Littlewood, and P. G. Whitehead, 1990: Computation of the instantaneous unit hydrograph and identifiable component flow with application to two small upload catchments. J. Hydrol., 117, 275300.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jakeman, A. J., T. H. Chen, D. A. Post, G. M. Hornberger, I. G. Littlewood, and P. G. Whitehead, 1993: Assessing uncertainties in hydrological response to climate at large scale. Macroscale Modelling of the Hydrosphere, W. B. Wilkinson, Ed., IAHS, 37–47.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jakeman, A. J., D. A. Post, and M. B. Beck, 1994a: From data and theory to environmental model: The case of rainfall-runoff. Environmetrics, 5, 297314.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jakeman, A. J., D. A. Post, S. Y. Schreider, and W. Ye, 1994b: Modelling environmental systems: Partitioning the water balance at different catchment scales. Environmental Studies, Vol. 2, Computer Techniques in Environmental Studies V, P. Zannetti, Ed., Computational Mechanics, 157–170.

  • Johns, T. C., and Coauthors, 2003: Anthropogenic climate change for 1860 to 2100 simulated with the HadCM3 model under updated emissions scenarios. Climate Dyn., 20, 583612.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kunstmann, H., and C. Stadler, 2005: High resolution distributed atmospheric hydrological modelling for alpine catchments. J. Hydrol., 314, 105124.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kunstmann, H., K. Schneider, R. Forkel, and R. Knoche, 2004: Impact analysis of climate change for an alpine catchment using high resolution dynamic downscaling of ECHAM4 time slices. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 8, 10311045.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mays, L. W., 2001: Water Resources Engineering. John Wiley & Sons, 768 pp.

  • Mirza, M. M. Q., 2002: Global warming and changes in the probability of occurrence of floods in Bangladesh and implications. Global Environ. Change, 12, 127138.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Murrone, F., F. Rossi, and P. Claps, 1997: Conceptually-based shot noise modelling of streamflows at short time interval. Stoch. Hydrol. Hydraul., 11, 483510.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nakícenovíc, N., 2000: Greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. Technol. Forecast. Soc. Change, 65, 149166.

  • Nash, J. E., and J. V. Sutcliffe, 1970: River flow forecasting through conceptual models. Part I—A discussion of principles. J. Hydrol., 27, 282290.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pope, V. D., M. L. Gallani, P. R. Rowntree, and R. A. Stratton, 2000: The impact of new physical parametrizations in the Hadley Centre climate model: HadAM3. Climate Dyn., 16, 123146.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Prudhomme, C., and H. Davies, 2009: Assessing uncertainties in climate change impact analyses on the river flow regimes in the UK. Part 1: Baseline climate. Climatic Change, 93, 177195.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Quintana Seguì, P., A. Ribes, E. Martin, F. Habets, and J. Boé, 2010: Comparison of three downscaling methods in simulating the impact of climate change on the hydrology of Mediterranean basins. J. Hydrol., 383, 111124.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Salas, J. D., 1992: Analysis and modeling of hydrologic time series. Handbook of Hydrology, D. R. Maidment, Ed., McGraw-Hill, 19.1–19.72.

  • Senatore, A., G. Mendicino, G. Smiatek, and H. Kunstmann, 2011: Regional climate change projections and hydrological impact analysis for a Mediterranean basin in southern Italy. J. Hydrol., 399, 7092.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stern, R. D., and R. Coe, 1984: A model fitting analysis of daily rainfall data (with discussion). J. Roy. Stat. Soc., 147A, 134.

  • Teutschbein, C., and J. Seibert, 2012: Bias correction of regional climate model simulations for hydrological climate-change impact studies: Review and evaluation of different methods. J. Hydrol., 456–457, 12–29, doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.05.052.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thornthwaite, C. W., 1948: An approach toward a rational classification of climate. Geogr. Rev., 38, 5594.

  • Todorovic, P., and D. A. Woolhiser, 1976: Stochastic structure of the local pattern of precipitation. Stochastic Approaches to Water Resources, Vol. 2, H. W. Shen, Ed., Water Resources Publications, 15.1–15.37.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wagener, T., H. S. Wheater, and H. V. Gupta, 2004: Rainfall-Runoff Modelling in Gauged and Ungauged Catchments. Imperial College Press, 306 pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Waymire, E., and V. K. Gupta, 1981: The mathematical structure of rainfall representations, 1. A review of the stochastic rainfall models. Water Resour. Res., 17, 12611272.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wilby, R. L., S. P. Charles, E. Zorita, B. Timbal, P. Whetton, and L. O. Mearns, 2004: Guidelines for use of climate scenarios developed from statistical downscaling methods. IPCC Task Group on Data and Scenario Support for Impact and Climate Analysis Rep., 27 pp.

  • Wilks, D. S., 1998: Multisite generation of daily stochastic precipitation generation model. J. Hydrol., 210, 178191.

  • Xu, C., 1999: Climate change and hydrologic models: a review of existing gaps and recent research developments. Water Resour. Manage., 13, 369382.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ye, W., B. C. Bates, N. R. Viney, M. Sivapalan, and A. J. Jakeman, 1997: Performance of conceptual rainfall-runoff models in low-yielding ephemeral catchments. Water Resour. Res., 33, 153166.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 1324 497 38
PDF Downloads 481 175 24