The effects of climate change due to increasing atmospheric CO2 onthe major tributaries to the Swan River (Perth, Western Australia) have been investigated. The climate scenarios are based on results from General Circulation Models (GCMs) and 1000 year time series are produced using a stochastic weather generator. The hydrological implications of these scenarios are then examined using a conceptual rainfall-runoff model, CMD-IHACRES, to model the response of six catchments, which combine to represent almost 90% of the total flow entering the upper Swan River,and hence the Perth city urban area. The changes in streamflow varies considerably between catchments, exhibiting a strong dependence on the physical attributes of the catchment in question. The increase in the magnitudes of rare flood
events despite significant decreases in mean streamflow levels found in some catchments emphasizes the importance of estimating changes in the nature of the precipitation (variance, length of storm and interstorm periods), along with changes in the mean, in climate change scenarios.
Figure 9: Average recurrence interval for flood events in the upper Swan River.
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Last updated 31st January 2013