Hydrological response under CMIP6 climate projection in Astore River Basin, Pakistan

Zeshan Ali, Mudassar Iqbal, Ihsan Ullah Khan, Muhammad Umer Masood, Muhammad Umer, Muhammad Usama Khan Lodhi, Muhammad Atiq Ur Rehman Tariq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


Climate change strongly influences the available water resources in a watershed due to direct linkage of atmospheric driving forces and changes in watershed hydrological processes. Understanding how these climatic changes affect watershed hydrology is essential for human society and environmental processes. Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) dataset of three GCM’s (BCC-CSM2-MR, INM-CM5-0, and MPI-ESM1-2-HR) with resolution of 100 km has been analyzed to examine the projected changes in temperature and precipitation over the Astore catchment during 2020–2070. Bias correction method was used to reduce errors. In this study, statistical significance of trends was performed by using the Man- Kendall test. Sen’s estimator determined the magnitude of the trend on both seasonal and annual scales at Rama Rattu and Astore stations. MPI-ESM1-2-HR showed better results with coefficient of determination (COD) ranging from 0.70–0.74 for precipitation and 0.90–0.92 for maximum and minimum temperature at Astore, Rama, and Rattu followed by INM-CM5-0 and BCC-CSM2-MR. University of British Columbia Watershed model was used to attain the future hydrological series and to analyze the hydrological response of Astore River Basin to climate change. Results revealed that by the end of the 2070s, average annual precipitation is projected to increase up to 26.55% under the SSP1–2.6, 6.91% under SSP2–4.5, and decrease up to 21.62% under the SSP5–8.5. Precipitation also showed considerable variability during summer and winter. The projected temperature showed an increasing trend that may cause melting of glaciers. The projected increase in temperature ranges from - 0.66°C to 0.50°C, 0.9°C to 1.5°C and 1.18°C to 2°C under the scenarios of SSP1–2.6, SSP2–4.5 and SSP5–8.5, respectively. Simulated streamflows presented a slight increase by all scenarios. Maximum streamflow was generated under SSP5–8.5 followed by SSP2–4.5 and SSP1–2.6. The snowmelt and groundwater contributions to streamflow have decreased whereas rainfall and glacier melt components have increased on the other hand. The projected streamflows (2020–2070) compared to the control period (1990–2014) showed a reduction of 3%–11%, 2%–9%, and 1%–7% by SSP1–2.6, SSP2–4.5, and SSP5–8.5, respectively. The results revealed detailed insights into the performance of three GCMs, which can serve as a blueprint for regional policymaking and be expanded upon to establish adaption measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2263-2281
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Mountain Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to the Centre of Excellence in Water Resource Engineering, UET, Lahore and College of Engineering, IT and Environment, Charles Darwin University, Australia for support in conducting this study. The authors are also thankful to Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) and Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Pakistan to provide the observed meteorological and hydrological data used in the study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


Dive into the research topics of 'Hydrological response under CMIP6 climate projection in Astore River Basin, Pakistan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this