Potential climate change impacts on the water balance of subcatchments of the River Spree, Germany
Abstract. Lusatia is considered one of the driest regions of Germany. The climatic water balance is negative even under current climate conditions. Due to global climate change, increased temperatures and a shift of precipitation from summer to winter are expected. Therefore, it is of major interest whether the excess water in winter can be stored and to which extent it is used up on increasing evapotranspiration.
Thus, this study focuses on estimating potential climate change impacts on the water balance of two subcatchments of the River Spree using the Soil and Water Integrated Model (SWIM). Climate input was taken from 100 realisations each of two scenarios of the STatistical Analogue Resampling scheme STAR assuming a further temperature increase of 0 K (scenario A) and 2 K by the year 2055 (scenario B) respectively. Resulting from increased temperatures and a shift in precipitation from summer to winter actual evapotranspiration is supposed to increase in winter and early spring, but to decrease in later spring and early summer. This is less pronounced for scenario A than for scenario B. Consequently, also the decrease in discharge and groundwater recharge in late spring is lower for scenario A than for scenario B. The highest differences of runoff generation and groundwater recharge between the two scenarios but also the highest ranges within the scenarios occur in summer and early autumn. It is planned to estimate potential climate change for the catchments of Spree, Schwarze Elster and Lusatian Neisse.