Impacts Assessment to Support WAter Resources Management and Climate Change Adaptation for China (SWARM)

Funding programme: Met Office CSSP-China

Project Team (UK):

PI: Helen He (UEA)

Co-Is: Yi Wang (University of Sussex), Nans Addor (University of Exeter), Daniel Goldberg (University of Edinburgh)

PDRAs: Desmond Manful (UEA), Netsanet Alamirew (University of Sussex), Florian Kobierska Baffie (University of Exeter), Louis Kinnear (University of Edinburgh)

Project duration: 04/2020-03/2021

Executive Summary

China has the world's largest population and has been among the world's fastest-growing economies. Much research has focused on China’s influence on climate change but much less on the impacts of climate change on China’s water resources. There are existing studies that assessed climate change impacts on water resources in various river basins in China. But comparing their results is never straightforward due to different climate projections, at various spatial resolutions and/or driven by various emission scenarios, and different hydrological models used in the previous studies. Glacier is often overlooked as a very important component in water resources. Climate change will accelerate glacier retreat and significantly affect water cycle in China.

The project “Impacts Assessment to Support WAter Resources Management and Climate Change Adaptation for China (SWARM)” SWARM aims to provide essential scientific evidence to inform water resources management and climate change adaptation strategies for China. It consists of five Research Activities to assess current water resources in China and how they might change in the future under different warming levels. The five Activities (see diagram below) include: 1) Dynamical Downscaling of four selected CMIP6 GCMs, 2) Bias corrections of regional climate model outputs, 3) Quantification of glacier mass, snowmelt and runoff over the reference period using observation, 4) Quantification of changes of glacier mass, snowmelt and runoff using the bias-corrected CMIP5 CORDEX-EA projections, and 5) Quantification of changes of glacier mass, snowmelt and runoff using the bias-corrected CMIP6-WRF projections.

The SWARM project will ultilise the expertise from the team members in the UK and work with collaborators in China to produce the first spatially coherent and integrated assessment of the impacts of climate change on water resources in China. We will also perform a very rigorous assessment of uncertainties, which is equally important for designing robust adaptation strategies for China.