Quantification of uncertainty sources in a probabilistic climate change assessment of future water shortages

Christopher Harris, Andrew Quinn, Jonathan Bridgeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


As the incorporation of probabilistic climate change information into UK water resource management gathers apace, understanding the relative scales of the uncertainty sources in projections of future water shortage metrics is necessary for the resultant information to be understood and used effectively. Utilising modified UKCP09 weather generator data and a multi-model approach, this paper represents a first attempt at extending an uncertainty assessment of future stream flows under forced climates to consider metrics of water shortage based on the triggering of reservoir control curves. It is found that the perturbed physics ensemble uncertainty, which describes climate model parameter error uncertainty, is the cause of a far greater proportion of both the overall flow and water shortage per year probability uncertainty than that caused by SRES emissions scenario choice in the 2080s. The methodology for producing metrics of future water shortage risk from UKCP09 weather generator information described here acts as the basis of a robustness analysis of the North Staffordshire WRZ to climate change, which provides an alternative approach for making decisions despite large uncertainties, which will follow.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-329
JournalClimatic Change
Issue number2
Early online date27 Aug 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantification of uncertainty sources in a probabilistic climate change assessment of future water shortages'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this