Modelling phosphorus loading and algal blooms in a Nordic agricultural catchment-lake system under changing land-use and climate
A model network comprising climate models, a hydrological model, a catchment-scale model for phosphorus biogeochemistry, and a lake thermodynamics and plankton dynamics model was used to simulate phosphorus loadings, total phosphorus and chlorophyll concentrations in Lake Vansjø, Southern Norway. The model network was automatically calibrated against time series of hydrological, chemical and biological observations in the inflowing river and in the lake itself using a Markov Chain Monte-Carlo (MCMC) algorithm. Climate projections from three global climate models (GCM: HadRM3, ECHAM5r3 and BCM) were used. The GCM model HadRM3 predicted the highest increase in temperature and precipitation and yielded the highest increase in total phosphorus and chlorophyll concentrations in the lake basin over the scenario period of 2031–2060. Despite the significant impact of climate change on these aspects of water quality, it is minimal when compared to the much larger effect of changes in land-use. The results suggest that implementing realistic abatement measures will remain a viable approach to improving water quality in the context of climate change.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Macronutrient Cycles