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A Simple Technique for Obtaining Future Climate Data Inputs for Natural Resource Models

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 32(3): 371-381. (doi: 10.13031/aea.32.10993) @2016
Authors:   Joseph Trotochaud, Dennis C. Flanagan, Bernard A. Engel
Keywords:   Climate change, Downscaling, GCM, Modeling, SWAT, WEPP.


Those conducting impact studies using natural resource models need to be able to quickly and easily obtain downscaled future climate data from multiple General Circulation Models (GCMs), future scenarios, and timescales for multiple locations. This article describes a method of quickly obtaining future climate data over a wide range of scenarios, GCMs, and timescales from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change AR4 and AR5 model families using the MarkSim DSSAT Weather Generator and a Microsoft Excel VBA Macro, the final result being a properly formatted parameter (.par) file which can be used by CLIGEN (CLImate GENerator) within the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model. We developed a fast and simple method to create WEPP climate input files by using software which already exists on most computers that does not require climatological or modeling knowledge to operate. Ultimately, the method was modified to create continuous daily data for use with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) as well. The final product is an automated spreadsheet with a simple user interface which imports, analyzes, and generates climate input files for the WEPP and SWAT models. This article describes the methods, development, and testing of the tool for use with CLIGEN and WEPP model simulations.

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