Theor Appl Climatol
This study evaluates the effects of climate change on the thermal regime of 12 rivers in the Northern Iberian Peninsula by using a non-linear regression model that employs air temperature as the only input variable. Prediction of future air temperature was obtained from five regional climate models (RCMs) under emission scenario Special Report on Emissions Scenarios A1B. Prior to simulation of water temperature, air temperature was bias-corrected (B-C) by means of variance scaling (VS) method. This procedure allows an improvement of fit between observed and estimated air temperature for all climate models. The simulation of water temperature for the period 1990–2100 shows an increasing trend, which is higher for the period of June-August (summer) and September-November (autumn) (0.0275 and 0.0281 °C/year) than that of winter (December-February) and spring (March-May) (0.0181 and 0.0218 °C/year). In the high air temperature range, daily water temperature is projected to increase on average by 2.2–3.1 °C for 2061–2090 relative to 1961–1990. During the coldest days, the increment of water temperature would range between 1.0 and 1.7 °C. In fact, employing the numbers of days that water temperature exceeded the upper incipient lethal temperature (UILT) for brown trout (24.7 °C) has been noted that this threshold is exceeded 14.5 days per year in 2061–2090 while in 1961–1990, this values was exceeded 2.6 days per year of mean and 3.6 days per year in observation period (2000–2014).