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Water resource management in the Eastern Mediterranean region

PI: Baris Onol
Institution: North Carolina State University
Significance of water resources management is much greater in the case of the developing countries than in the developed ones. Over the Eastern Mediterranean region several studies have been conducted on water resources and its importance but none of them have focused on the role of future climate change. Trans-boundary streamflows (Euphrates-Tigris) are the main sources of the water for the region, not only for domestic and industrial usage, but also for energy. To understand present and future climate changes over the Euphrates-Tigris basin, we have focused on the precipitation component of the regional hydrological cycle. The regional climate model (RegCM3) has been used to downscale the regional climate simulations of the Finite Volume GCM (1x1.25). Based on IPCC GHG forcing and present conditions, climate change over the region of interest has been investigated.

Our primary finding is that the climate anomalies associated with the projected regional global warming tend to manifest themselves in terms of multi-decadal variability North Atlantic Oscillation. More specifically, there is dramatic precipitation increase (30%) over the northern part of domain of interest (Black Sea). In contrast, the southern part of the domain of interest exhibits the opposite anomaly conditions. We hypothesize that these changes in precipitation could have very significant implications regarding the total hydrological cycle over the region.

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    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory  |  Physical & Life Sciences Directorate