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A comprehensive assessment of RCP4.5 projections and bias-correction techniques in a complex coastal karstic aquifer in the Mediterranean

Posted on 2023-09-19 - 04:30

This study aims to assess the projected precipitation and temperature changes at the coastal karstic aquifer of Salento (Apulia, Southern Italy) under the Representative Concentration Pathway RCP4.5. For this purpose, an ensemble of twelve Regional Climate Models (RCMs) driven by several General Circulation Models (GCMs) were collected. Eight bias-correction (BC) methods were applied at daily time steps, and their results were assessed on monthly and annual time steps, using daily records from 19 and 11 precipitation and temperature (minimum and maximum) stations, respectively, for the period 1960–2005. Missing data in the observed dataset were filled-in applying the best performing techniques out of the 5 that were employed and tested. The Linear Scaling and the Power Transformation were found to be the most effective methods for precipitation BC at the case study, while all methods performed equally well in correcting air temperature datasets. Results of future climate projections show a decrease in precipitation of about 6% and an increase in temperature of 2°C until the end of this century, compared to the historical period (1971–2005). This study forms the first comprehensive attempt to test the scientific literature’s most widely used bias-correction methods over the study area. The case study may be considered a benchmark for circum-Mediterranean regions because of its high geomorphological and structural complexity, regional size, surface water scarcity, and significant water withdrawals for human activities.

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