Comparison of future runoff projections using Budyko framework and global hydrologic model: conceptual simplicity vs process complexity

Rodrigo Fernandez, Takahiro Sayama
Received 2015/07/01, Accepted 2015/10/05, Released 2015/11/14

Rodrigo Fernandez1) 2), Takahiro Sayama3)

1) International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management, Public Works Research Institute
2) National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
3) Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University

This paper compared future runoff projections using a Budyko type equation with respect to projections by a global hydrological model (GHM). The comparison was made for the annual mean runoff projections for a future period (2060–2100) after the Budyko parameter was set based on hydrologic model outputs at a present period (1960–2000). The objective of this study was to investigate the performance of the Budyko equation with respect to the hydrologic model at different climate regions. To address the question this study used the spatial average of runoff for the 35 largest basins in the world. According to the comparison, the projections by the two approaches agreed well (R2 = 0.983), in particular in humid tropic region (R2 = 0.986), but with consistent underestimation of future runoff (Median Error, ME = –0.042) by the Budyko equation. In subarctic region the performance of the Budyko equation was low (R2 = 0.599) due to the overestimation of future runoff (ME = 0.110). The results in the dry and temperate regions also showed some discrepancy (R2 = 0.931 and 0.724) without apparent patterns in the errors. The paper discussed possible reasons for the errors with respect to water and energy seasonality and changes in storage component contributions.

[Full Text]

Copyright (c) 2015 Japan Society of Hydrology and Water Resources

Back to Top ↑