UT GEO 387H - HYDROLOGIC SENSITIVITY OF GLOBAL RIVERS TO CLIMATE CHANGE (33 pages)

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HYDROLOGIC SENSITIVITY OF GLOBAL RIVERS TO CLIMATE CHANGE



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HYDROLOGIC SENSITIVITY OF GLOBAL RIVERS TO CLIMATE CHANGE

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Pages:
33
School:
University of Texas at Austin
Course:
Geo 387h -
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HYDROLOGIC SENSITIVITY OF GLOBAL RIVERS TO CLIMATE CHANGE BART NIJSSEN GREG M O DONNELL ALAN F HAMLET and DENNIS P LETTENMAIER Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Box 352700 University of Washington Seattle WA 98195 2700 U S A E mails nijssen u washington edu tempgd hydro washington edu hamleaf u washington edu and dennisl u washington edu Abstract Climate predictions from four state of the art general circulation models GCMs were used to assess the hydrologic sensitivity to climate change of nine large continental river basins Amazon Amur Mackenzie Mekong Mississippi Severnaya Dvina Xi Yellow Yenisei The four climate models HCCPR CM2 HCCPR CM3 MPI ECHAM4 and DOE PCM3 all predicted transient climate response to changing greenhouse gas concentrations and incorporated modern land surface parameterizations Model predicted monthly average precipitation and temperature changes were downscaled to the river basin level using model increments transient minus control to adjust for GCM bias The variable infiltration capacity VIC macroscale hydrological model MHM was used to calculate the corresponding changes in hydrologic fluxes especially streamflow and evapotranspiration and moisture storages Hydrologic model simulations were performed for decades centered on 2025 and 2045 In addition a sensitivity study was performed in which temperature and precipitation were increased independently by 2 C and 10 respectively during each of four seasons All GCMs predict a warming for all nine basins with the greatest warming predicted to occur during the winter months in the highest latitudes Precipitation generally increases but the monthly precipitation signal varies more between the models than does temperature The largest changes in the hydrological cycle are predicted for the snow dominated basins of mid to higher latitudes This results in part from the greater amount of warming predicted for these regions but more importantly because of the important role of snow in



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