reference : Impacts of 21st-century climate change on hydrologic extremes in the Pacific Northwest region of North America

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Bibliographic fields
reftype Journal Article
Abstract Climate change projections for the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region of North America include warmer temperatures (T), reduced precipitation (P) in summer months, and increased P during all other seasons. Using a physically based hydrologic model and an ensemble of statistically downscaled global climate model scenarios produced by the Columbia Basin Climate Change Scenarios Project, we examine the nature of changing hydrologic extremes (floods and low flows) under natural conditions for about 300 river locations in the PNW. The combination of warming, and shifts in seasonal P regimes, results in increased flooding and more intense low flows for most of the basins in the PNW. Flood responses depend on average midwinter T and basin type. Mixed rain and snow basins, with average winter temperatures near freezing, typically show the largest increases in flood risk because of the combined effects of warming (increasing contributing basin area) and more winter P. Decreases in low flows are driven by loss of snowpack, drier summers, and increasing evapotranspiration in the simulations. Energy-limited basins on the west side of the Cascades show the strongest declines in low flows, whereas more arid, water-limited basins on the east side of the Cascades show smaller reductions in low flows. A fine-scale analysis of hydrologic extremes over the Olympic Peninsula echoes the results for the larger rivers discussed above, but provides additional detail about topographic gradients.
Author Tohver, Ingrid M.; Hamlet, Alan F.; Lee, Se-Yeun
DOI 10.1111/jawr.12199
Issue 6
Journal JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Pages 1461-1476
Title Impacts of 21st-century climate change on hydrologic extremes in the Pacific Northwest region of North America
Volume 50
Year 2014
Bibliographic identifiers
_record_number 26494
_uuid 37c7ffec-3a37-4278-942a-a1ede603934d