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Water resources in Iceland - Impacts of climate variability and climate change

Jonsdottir, Jona Finndis LU (2007)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Vattenkraft är Islands främsta energikälla. År 2005 svarade vattenkraft för 80,8% av all elproduktion på Island (7015 Gwh). Vattenkraft påverkas av både variationer och förändringar i vattenflöden. Denna avhandling fokuserar på studier av trender och variationer i tidsserier av vattenflöden och klimatvariabler, kombinerat med modellering av avrinningsområden och analys av ett framtidsscenario för avrinning på Island.



Variationer i atmosfärens cirkulation påverkar starkt både nederbörd och avrinning på Island. En studie av förhållandet mellan havsnivåtryck, havets yttemperatur, nederbörd, temperatur och vattenflöde visade att det regionala klimatet på Island inte kan kopplas... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Vattenkraft är Islands främsta energikälla. År 2005 svarade vattenkraft för 80,8% av all elproduktion på Island (7015 Gwh). Vattenkraft påverkas av både variationer och förändringar i vattenflöden. Denna avhandling fokuserar på studier av trender och variationer i tidsserier av vattenflöden och klimatvariabler, kombinerat med modellering av avrinningsområden och analys av ett framtidsscenario för avrinning på Island.



Variationer i atmosfärens cirkulation påverkar starkt både nederbörd och avrinning på Island. En studie av förhållandet mellan havsnivåtryck, havets yttemperatur, nederbörd, temperatur och vattenflöde visade att det regionala klimatet på Island inte kan kopplas direkt till ett eller två tydliga mönster av variationer i atmosfären, trots, eller kanske snarare på grund av, närheten till norra referenspunkten i nordatlantiska oskillationen (NOA), d.v.s. det isländska lågtrycksområdet.



Den stora variationen mellan tioårsperioder som klimatet och avrinningen på Island uppvisar, komplicerar upptäckten av tecken på klimatförändringar i tillgängliga data. I trendanalysen av perioden 1961-2000 kunde inte en signifikant ökning påvisas av vattenflöde med icke-glaciärt ursprung, trots ökning av uppmätt nederbörd. Under samma period visade vårtemperaturer en nedåtgående trend, vilket förstorar vårfloden och förskjuter den framåt sommaren. Dessa trender i klimat- och avrinnningsdata följer inte riktigt gängse framtidsbilder av klimat- och avrinningsförändringar, där temperaturen förväntas öka på Island för alla årstider liksom att nederbörden också borde öka.



En avrinningskarta för hela Island räknades fram med hjälp av WASIM avrinningsområdesmodellen för perioden 1961-1990 och jämfördes med en avrinningsprognos för perioden 2071-2100 enligt en HIRHAM klimatprojektion med gränssnittsvariabler från HadAM3H modellen och A2 och B2 utsläppsscenarier. Utvärderingen av framtida avrinning visar att den kan komma att bli avsevärt högre under perioden 2071-2100 jämfört med 1961-1990, främst p.g.a. att den förväntade temperaturökningen skulle öka glaciärernas avsmältning. Dessutom blir avrinningens årstidsbundna förändring sannolikt avsevärd, eftersom högre temperaturer minskar uppsamlad snömängd på vintern. Enligt denna avrinningsprognos ändras förutsättningarna för vattenkraft avsevärt på Island i samband med klimatförändringar. (Less)
Abstract
Hydropower is the main source of electricity production in Iceland. In 2005, 80.8% of all electricity was generated by hydropower (7015 GWh). Hydropower production is affected both by variations and changes in discharge. This thesis focuses on studies of the trends and the variability found in records of discharge and climatic variables, combined with watershed modelling and an analysis of a projection of future runoff in Iceland.



The variability in the atmospheric circulation strongly affects precipitation and runoff in Iceland. A study of the relationship between sea level pressure, sea surface temperature, precipitation, temperature and discharge showed that the regional climate in Iceland cannot be directly related... (More)
Hydropower is the main source of electricity production in Iceland. In 2005, 80.8% of all electricity was generated by hydropower (7015 GWh). Hydropower production is affected both by variations and changes in discharge. This thesis focuses on studies of the trends and the variability found in records of discharge and climatic variables, combined with watershed modelling and an analysis of a projection of future runoff in Iceland.



The variability in the atmospheric circulation strongly affects precipitation and runoff in Iceland. A study of the relationship between sea level pressure, sea surface temperature, precipitation, temperature and discharge showed that the regional climate in Iceland cannot be directly related to one or two clear patterns of atmospheric variability, despite, or perhaps because of, the proximity to the northern center of action in the North Atlantic Oscillation, i.e., the Icelandic Low.



The large decadal variability in climate and runoff in Iceland complicates the detection of a climate change signal in past record. The trend analysis showed that during the period 1961-2000, a significant increase in non-glacial discharge cannot be determined, despite an increase in measured precipitation. Meanwhile, spring temperatures have a negative trend, and spring floods therefore increase and tend to occur later in the year. These trends in past climate and runoff are not fully consistent with projections of future climate and runoff changes, where temperature in Iceland are expected to increase in all seasons and precipitation should also increase.



A runoff map was calculated with the WASIM watershed model for all of Iceland for the period 1961-1990 and compared with a runoff projection for the period 2071-2100 according to a HIRHAM climate projection with boundary conditions from the HadAM3H model and A2 and B2 emissions scenarios. The evaluation of future runoff shows that runoff may become substantially higher in 2071-2100 than 1961-1990, mainly because predicted higher temperatures will increase the glacier melt. In addition, the seasonal changes in runoff are likely to be significant since higher temperatures cause less snow accumulation during winter. This projection of future runoff therefore implies great changes in the hydropower production potential in Iceland associated with climate change. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Dr Prowse, Terry, National Water Research Institute, Canada
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
marklära, pedology, cartography, climatology, Fysisk geografi, geomorfologi, geomorphology, runoff map, projection of future runoff, Environmental studies, Miljöstudier, Physical geography, hydrological modelling, trends, climate change, climate variability, Iceland, water resources, offshore technology, soil mechanics, Väg- och vattenbyggnadsteknik, kartografi, klimatologi, Civil engineering, hydraulic engineering
pages
148 pages
publisher
Department of Water Resources Engineering, Lund Institute of Technology, Lund University
defense location
Room V:B,V-building, John Ericssons väg 1, Lund University Faculty of Engineering
defense date
2007-09-11 10:15
ISSN
1101-9824
ISBN
978-91-628-7227-4
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ea4e75e5-4d20-4cb3-9a78-ef6427ee4dbc (old id 548896)
date added to LUP
2007-09-10 11:08:03
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:59
@phdthesis{ea4e75e5-4d20-4cb3-9a78-ef6427ee4dbc,
  abstract     = {Hydropower is the main source of electricity production in Iceland. In 2005, 80.8% of all electricity was generated by hydropower (7015 GWh). Hydropower production is affected both by variations and changes in discharge. This thesis focuses on studies of the trends and the variability found in records of discharge and climatic variables, combined with watershed modelling and an analysis of a projection of future runoff in Iceland.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The variability in the atmospheric circulation strongly affects precipitation and runoff in Iceland. A study of the relationship between sea level pressure, sea surface temperature, precipitation, temperature and discharge showed that the regional climate in Iceland cannot be directly related to one or two clear patterns of atmospheric variability, despite, or perhaps because of, the proximity to the northern center of action in the North Atlantic Oscillation, i.e., the Icelandic Low.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The large decadal variability in climate and runoff in Iceland complicates the detection of a climate change signal in past record. The trend analysis showed that during the period 1961-2000, a significant increase in non-glacial discharge cannot be determined, despite an increase in measured precipitation. Meanwhile, spring temperatures have a negative trend, and spring floods therefore increase and tend to occur later in the year. These trends in past climate and runoff are not fully consistent with projections of future climate and runoff changes, where temperature in Iceland are expected to increase in all seasons and precipitation should also increase.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
A runoff map was calculated with the WASIM watershed model for all of Iceland for the period 1961-1990 and compared with a runoff projection for the period 2071-2100 according to a HIRHAM climate projection with boundary conditions from the HadAM3H model and A2 and B2 emissions scenarios. The evaluation of future runoff shows that runoff may become substantially higher in 2071-2100 than 1961-1990, mainly because predicted higher temperatures will increase the glacier melt. In addition, the seasonal changes in runoff are likely to be significant since higher temperatures cause less snow accumulation during winter. This projection of future runoff therefore implies great changes in the hydropower production potential in Iceland associated with climate change.},
  author       = {Jonsdottir, Jona Finndis},
  isbn         = {978-91-628-7227-4},
  issn         = {1101-9824},
  keyword      = {marklära,pedology,cartography,climatology,Fysisk geografi,geomorfologi,geomorphology,runoff map,projection of future runoff,Environmental studies,Miljöstudier,Physical geography,hydrological modelling,trends,climate change,climate variability,Iceland,water resources,offshore technology,soil mechanics,Väg- och vattenbyggnadsteknik,kartografi,klimatologi,Civil engineering,hydraulic engineering},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {148},
  publisher    = {Department of Water Resources Engineering, Lund Institute of Technology, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Water resources in Iceland - Impacts of climate variability and climate change},
  year         = {2007},
}