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Effects of CO2-induoed climatic changes on soowpack and streamflow
- COOLEY, KEITH R.
- Hydrological sciences journal 1990 v.35 no.5 pp. 511-522
- basins, carbon dioxide, climate, climate change, cooling, hydrologic cycle, melting, models, rivers, snow, snowpack, stream flow, temperature, Montana
- Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) may double during the next century, causing changes in the Earth's climate. Warming of up to 4°C, slight cooling, and 10% changes in precipitation have been projected. Researchers have studied the possible impacts these changes may have on various aspects of the hydrological cycle, but little emphasis has been placed on snow accumulation and melt. In this study, the effects of climatic change on streamflow from a snowmelt-dominated basin in southwestern Montana, USA, are investigated. The National Weather Service River Forecast System model (NWSRFS) was first calibrated using data for the 1973–1984 period. Daily temperature and precipitation values were then changed, and the model ran again to assess the effects on snowpack and streamflow of some possible climatic changes. Results indicate that streamflow may vary by from −22 to +45% depending on the combination of climatic changes imposed.