Does a convection-permitting regional climate model bring new perspectives on the projection of Mediterranean floods? - IRSTEA - Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l'environnement et l'agriculture (<b>anciennement Cemagref</b>) Access content directly
Journal Articles Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences Year : 2024

Does a convection-permitting regional climate model bring new perspectives on the projection of Mediterranean floods?

Abstract

Abstract. Floods are the primary natural hazard in the French Mediterranean area, causing damages and fatalities every year. These floods are triggered by heavy precipitation events (HPEs) characterized by limited temporal and spatial extents. A new generation of regional climate models at the kilometer scale have been developed, allowing an explicit representation of deep convection and improved simulations of local-scale phenomena such as HPEs. Convection-permitting regional climate models (CPMs) have been scarcely used in hydrological impact studies, and future projections of Mediterranean floods remain uncertain with regional climate models (RCMs). In this paper, we use the CNRM-AROME CPM (2.5 km) and its driving CNRM-ALADIN RCM (12 km) at the hourly timescale to simulate floods over the Gardon d'Anduze catchment located in the French Mediterranean region. Climate simulations are bias-corrected with the CDF-t method. Two hydrological models, a lumped and conceptual model (GR5H) and a process-based distributed model (CREST), forced with historical and future climate simulations from the CPM and from the RCM, have been used. The CPM model confirms its ability to better reproduce extreme hourly rainfall compared to the RCM. This added value is propagated on flood simulation with a better reproduction of flood peaks. Future projections are consistent between the hydrological models but differ between the two climate models. Using the CNRM-ALADIN RCM, the magnitude of all floods is projected to increase. With the CNRM-AROME CPM, a threshold effect is found: the magnitude of the largest floods is expected to intensify, while the magnitude of the less severe floods is expected to decrease. In addition, different flood event characteristics indicate that floods are expected to become flashier in a warmer climate, with shorter lag time between rainfall and runoff peak and a smaller contribution of base flow, regardless of the model. This study is a first step for impact studies driven by CPMs over the Mediterranean.
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hal-04538579 , version 1 (09-04-2024)

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Nils Poncet, Philippe Lucas-Picher, Yves Tramblay, Guillaume Thirel, Humberto Vergara, et al.. Does a convection-permitting regional climate model bring new perspectives on the projection of Mediterranean floods?. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 2024, 24 (4), pp.1163-1183. ⟨10.5194/nhess-24-1163-2024⟩. ⟨hal-04538579⟩
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