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Hydrologic drought prediction under climate change: Uncertainty modeling with Dempster-Shafer and Bayesian approaches

Raje, Deepashree and Mujumdar, PP (2010) Hydrologic drought prediction under climate change: Uncertainty modeling with Dempster-Shafer and Bayesian approaches. In: Advances in Water Resources, 33 (9). pp. 1176-1186.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2010.08.001


Representation and quantification of uncertainty in climate change impact studies are a difficult task. Several sources of uncertainty arise in studies of hydrologic impacts of climate change, such as those due to choice of general circulation models (GCMs), scenarios and downscaling methods. Recently, much work has focused on uncertainty quantification and modeling in regional climate change impacts. In this paper, an uncertainty modeling framework is evaluated, which uses a generalized uncertainty measure to combine GCM, scenario and downscaling uncertainties. The Dempster-Shafer (D-S) evidence theory is used for representing and combining uncertainty from various sources. A significant advantage of the D-S framework over the traditional probabilistic approach is that it allows for the allocation of a probability mass to sets or intervals, and can hence handle both aleatory or stochastic uncertainty, and epistemic or subjective uncertainty. This paper shows how the D-S theory can be used to represent beliefs in some hypotheses such as hydrologic drought or wet conditions, describe uncertainty and ignorance in the system, and give a quantitative measurement of belief and plausibility in results. The D-S approach has been used in this work for information synthesis using various evidence combination rules having different conflict modeling approaches. A case study is presented for hydrologic drought prediction using downscaled streamflow in the Mahanadi River at Hirakud in Orissa, India. Projections of n most likely monsoon streamflow sequences are obtained from a conditional random field (CRF) downscaling model, using an ensemble of three GCMs for three scenarios, which are converted to monsoon standardized streamflow index (SSFI-4) series. This range is used to specify the basic probability assignment (bpa) for a Dempster-Shafer structure, which represents uncertainty associated with each of the SSFI-4 classifications. These uncertainties are then combined across GCMs and scenarios using various evidence combination rules given by the D-S theory. A Bayesian approach is also presented for this case study, which models the uncertainty in projected frequencies of SSFI-4 classifications by deriving a posterior distribution for the frequency of each classification, using an ensemble of GCMs and scenarios. Results from the D-S and Bayesian approaches are compared, and relative merits of each approach are discussed. Both approaches show an increasing probability of extreme, severe and moderate droughts and decreasing probability of normal and wet conditions in Orissa as a result of climate change. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Advances in Water Resources
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Keywords: Downscaling; Uncertainty; Drought; Dempster-Shafer; Bayesian; Streamflow
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Divecha Centre for Climate Change
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Civil Engineering
Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2010 10:26
Last Modified: 23 Dec 2010 10:26
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/34343

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