Prediction of Climate Change Impacts on Flood Risk in the Greater Chicago Region
College: Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Award year: 2012-2013
To predict the future flood peaks in northeastern Illinois for selected future climate scenarios, the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrologic model will be modified and calibrated for the present climate conditions. VIC is a hydrologic land-surface model and consists of energy balance, water balance, and hydrologic routing components. However, it is not readily applicable to urban areas, as these areas have a significant portion of impervious surfaces. For representative future climate scenarios, the modified VIC will use a dynamic (RCM) and a statistical (CMIP3) downscaling approaches to produce data usable by the hydrologic model. The RCM model outputs will provide a first approximation of high and low ends of the future anticipated anthropogenic emissions, while the CMIP3 will provide an ensemble of future climate datasets. The study will ultimately determine the range of possible future risks. The ways to communicate future risks are critical for urban planners and managers to adapt to future conditions.