What is it about?

Water resources are critical to sustaining life, but climate change is impacting them globally. However, the complex and uncertain nature of climate change presents challenges for predicting the future of water resources. This study fills a knowledge gap by investigating the sensitivity of non-conditional climatic variables to climate change in the context of deep uncertainty. We use a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) analysis that merges the stochastic patterns of historical data with regional climate models’ generated climate scenarios to redefine the stochastic behavior of a non-conditional climatic variable under climate change conditions. Our method accounts for deep-uncertainty effects by evaluating the stochastic pattern of the central tendency measure of posterior distributions through regenerating the MCMCs. We apply this method to the Karkheh River Basin in Iran, where water, food, and energy security are of utmost importance. Our results indicate that while the temperature will slightly drop in most seasons, except summer, in the near future, the average temperature will eventually surpass the historically recorded values. We caution against relying solely on raw projections from regional climate models, especially in topographically diverse terrain. Our study offers insights for better understanding climate change's impact on water resources and provides a useful tool for developing effective adaptation strategies.

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Why is it important?

Understanding the impact of climate change on water resources is crucial for ensuring the sustainability of ecosystems, as well as human societies. However, the deep uncertainty associated with climate change makes it challenging to develop accurate predictions. The study presented here fills an important knowledge gap by investigating the sensitivity of non-conditional climatic variables to climate change under deep-uncertainty conditions. By using the Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method, this research provides a useful tool for predicting how climate change will impact water resources in the future. The insights gained from this study will aid in developing effective adaptation strategies to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change on water resources and will contribute to ensuring the sustainability of ecosystems and human societies in the face of global climate change.


I had such a blast working on this paper. We spent a month running massive simulations, writing code, and analyzing huge datasets. Without my amazing team, I could not have finished this in a million years. Kudos to them for being so awesome and supportive.

Babak Zolghadr-Asli
University of Exeter

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Sensitivity of non-conditional climatic variables to climate-change deep uncertainty using Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulation, Scientific Reports, February 2022, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-05643-8.
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