Precipitation data from Global Climate Models have been downscaled to smaller regions. Adapting this downscaled precipitation data to a coupled hydrodynamic surface-water/groundwater model of southern Florida allows an examination of future conditions and their effect on groundwater levels, inundation patterns, surface-water stage and flows, and salinity. The downscaled rainfall data include the 1996-2001 time series from the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting ERA-40 simulation and both the 1996-1999 and 2038-2057 time series from two global climate models: the Community Climate System Model (CCSM) and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamic Laboratory (GFDL). Synthesized surface-water inflow datasets were developed for the 2038-2057 simulations. The resulting hydrologic simulations, with and without a 30-cm sea-level rise, were compared with each other and field data to analyze a range of projected conditions. Simulations predicted generally higher future stage and groundwater levels and surface-water flows, with sea-level rise inducing higher coastal salinities. A coincident rise in sea level, precipitation and surface-water flows resulted in a narrower inland saline/fresh transition zone. The inland areas were affected more by the rainfall difference than the sea-level rise, and the rainfall differences make little difference in coastal inundation, but a larger difference in coastal salinities.
Additional publication details
Applying downscaled global climate model data to a hydrodynamic surface-water and groundwater model