Climatic Change

, Volume 82, Issue 3–4, pp 309–325 | Cite as

Uncertainty in hydrologic impacts of climate change in the Sierra Nevada, California, under two emissions scenarios

Article

Abstract

A hydrologic model was driven by the climate projected by 11 GCMs under two emissions scenarios (the higher emission SRES A2 and the lower emission SRES B1) to investigate whether the projected hydrologic changes by 2071–2100 have a high statistical confidence, and to determine the confidence level that the A2 and B1 emissions scenarios produce differing impacts. There are highly significant average temperature increases by 2071–2100 of 3.7°C under A2 and 2.4°C under B1; July increases are 5°C for A2 and 3°C for B1. Two high confidence hydrologic impacts are increasing winter streamflow and decreasing late spring and summer flow. Less snow at the end of winter is a confident projection, as is earlier arrival of the annual flow volume, which has important implications on California water management. The two emissions pathways show some differing impacts with high confidence: the degree of warming expected, the amount of decline in summer low flows, the shift to earlier streamflow timing, and the decline in end-of-winter snow pack, with more extreme impacts under higher emissions in all cases. This indicates that future emissions scenarios play a significant role in the degree of impacts to water resources in California.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abdulla FA, Lettenmaier DP, Wood EF, Smith JA (1996) Application of a macroscale hydrologic model to estimate the water balance of the Arkansas-Red River basin. J Geophys Res 101(D3):7449–7459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Benestad RE (2001) A comparison between two empirical downscaling strategies. Intl J Climatol 21:1645–1668CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brekke LD, Miller NL, Bashford KE, Quinn NWT, Dracup JA (2004) Climate change impacts uncertainty for water resources in the San Joaquin River basin, California. J Am Water Resour Assoc 40:149–164Google Scholar
  4. Christensen NS, Wood AW, Voisin N, Lettenmaier DP, Palmer RN (2004) The effects of climate change on the hydrology and water resources of the Colorado River basin. Clim Change 62:337–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Covey C, AchutaRao KM, Cubasch U, Jones P, Lambert SJ, Mann ME, Phillips TJ, Taylor KE (2003) An overview of results from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP). Glob Planet Change 37:103–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Delworth TL et al (2005) GFDL’s CM2 global coupled climate models part 1: formulation and simulation characteristics. J Climate 19:643–674CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dettinger M (2004) From climate-change spaghetti to climate-change distribution, Discussion Paper 500-04-028. California Energy Commission, Sacramento, California, p 20Google Scholar
  8. Dettinger MD, Cayan DR, Meyer MK, Jeton AE (2004) Simulated hydrologic responses to climate variations and change in the Merced, Carson, and American River basins, Sierra Nevada, California, 1900–2099. Clim Change 62:283–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Diansky NA, Volodin EM (2002) Simulation of present-day climate with a coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation model. Izv Atmos Ocean Phys (Engl Transl) 38(6):732–747Google Scholar
  10. Draper AJ, Jenkins MW, Kirby KW, Lund JR, Howitt RE (2003) Economic-engineering optimization for California water management. J Water Resour Plan Manage 129(3):155–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Feddema JJ, Oleson KW, Bonan GB, Mearns LO, Buja LE, Meehl GA, Washington WM (2005) The importance of land-cover change in simulating future climates. Science 310(5754):1674–1678CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Field CB, Daily GC, Davis FW, Gaines S, Matson PA, Melack J, Miller NL (1999) Confronting climate change in California: ecological impacts on the golden state. Union of Concerned Scientists, Cambridge, Massachusetts, p 63Google Scholar
  13. Gleick PH (1987) The development and testing of a water balance model for climate impact assessment: modeling the Sacramento basin. Water Resour Res 23:1049–1061CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gordon C, Cooper C, Senior CA, Banks HT, Gregory JM, Johns TC, Mitchell JFB, Wood RA (2000) The simulation of SST, sea ice extents and ocean heat transports in a version of the Hadley Centre coupled model without flux adjustments. Clim Dyn 16:147–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gordon HB, Rotstayn LD, McGregor JL, Dix MR, Kowalczyk EA, O’Farrell SP, Waterman LJ, Hirst AC, Wilson SG, Collier MA, Watterson IG, Elliott TI (2002) The CSIRO Mk3 climate system model, CSIRO Atmospheric Research Technical Paper No.60, CSIRO. Division of Atmospheric Research, Victoria, Australia, p 130Google Scholar
  16. Haan CT (2002) Statistical methods in hydrology, 2nd edn. Iowa State Press, Ames, Iowa, USA, p 496Google Scholar
  17. Hamlet AF, Lettenmaier DP (1999) Effects of climate change on hydrology and water resources of the Columbia River basin. J Am Water Resour Assoc 35:1597–1624Google Scholar
  18. Hayhoe K, Cayan D, Field C, Frumhoff P, Maurer E, Miller N, Moser S, Schneider S, Cahill K, Cleland E, Dale L, Drapek R, Hanemann RM, Kalkstein L, Lenihan J, Lunch C, Neilson R, Sheridan S, Verville J (2004) Emissions pathways, climate change, and impacts on California. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101(34):12422–12427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. IPCC, 2001: Climate Change 2001: the scientific basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the third assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In: Houghton JT, Ding Y, Griggs DJ, Noguer M, van der Linden PJ, Dai X, Maskell K, Johnson CA (eds) Cambridge University Press, p 881Google Scholar
  20. IPSL (2005) The new IPSL climate system model: IPSL-CM4. Institut Pierre Simon Laplace des Sciences de l’Environnement Global, Paris, France, p 73Google Scholar
  21. Jungclaus JH, Botzet M, Haak H, Keenlyside N, Luo J-J, Latif M, Marotzke J, Mikolajewicz U, Roeckner E (2006) Ocean circulation and tropical variability in the AOGCM ECHAM5/MPI-OM. J Climate 19:3952–3972CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. K-1 model developers (2004) K-1 coupled model (MIROC) description, K-1 technical report, 1. In: Hasumi H, Emori S (eds) Center for Climate System Research, University of Tokyo, p 34Google Scholar
  23. Kim J (2005) A projection of the effects of the climate change induced by increased CO2 on extreme hydrologic events in the western U.S. Clim Change 68:153–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kim J, Kim TK, Arritt RW, Miller NL (2002) Impacts of increased CO2 on the hydroclimate of the western United States. J Climate 15:1926–1943CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kiparski M, Gleick PH (2004) Climate change and California water resources. In: Gleick PH (ed) The World’s Water 2004–2005. Island Press, Washington, District of Columbia, pp 157–188Google Scholar
  26. Knowles N, Cayan DR (2004). Elevational dependence of projected hydrologic changes in the San Francisco estuary and watershed. Clim Change 62:319–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lenihan JM, Drapek R, Bachelet D, Neilson RP (2003) Climate change effects on vegetation distribution, carbon, and fire in California. Ecol Appl 13(6):1167–1681Google Scholar
  28. Lettenmaier DP, Gan TY (1990) Hydrologic sensitivities of the Sacramento–San Joaquin River basin, California, to global warming. Water Resour Res 26:69–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Liang X, Lettenmaier DP, Wood E, Burges SJ (1994) A simple hydrologically based model of land surface water and energy fluxes for general circulation models. J Geophys Res 99(D7):14415–14428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Liang X, Lettenmaier DP, Wood EF (1996) One-dimensional statistical dynamic representation of subgrid spatial variability of precipitation in the two-layer variable infiltration capacity model. J Geophys Res 101(D16):21403–21422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lohmann D, Nolte-Holube R, Raschke E (1996) A large-scale horizontal routing model to be coupled to land surface parameterization schemes. Tellus 48A:708–721Google Scholar
  32. Maurer EP, Duffy PB (2005) Uncertainty in projections of streamflow changes due to climate change in California Geophys Research Let 32:doi 10.1029/2004GL021462
  33. Maurer EP, O’Donnell GM, Lettenmaier DP, Roads JO (2001) Evaluation of the land surface water budget in NCEP/NCAR and NCEP/DOE reanalyses using an off-line hydrologic model. J Geophys Res 106(D16):17841–17862CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Maurer EP, Wood AW, Adam JC, Lettenmaier DP, Nijssen B (2002) A long-term hydrologically-based data set of land surface fluxes and states for the conterminous United States. J Climate 15(22):3237–3251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mearns LO, Hulme M, Carter TR, Leemans R, Lal M, Whetton P (2001) Climate scenario development. In: Houghton JT, et al (eds) Climate Change 2001: the scientific basis. Contribution of working group 1 to the third assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp 739–768Google Scholar
  36. Meehl GA, Boer GJ, Covey C, Latif M, Stouffer RJ (2000) The coupled model intercomparison project (CMIP). Bull Am Meteorol Soc 81(2):313–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Meehl GA, Covey C, McAvaney B, Latif M, Stoufer RJ (2005) Overview of the coupled model intercomparison project. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 86:89–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Miller NL, Bashford KE, Strem E (2003) Potential impacts of climate change on California hydrology. J Am Water Resour Assoc 39:771–784Google Scholar
  39. Mote PW, Hamlet AF, Clark MP, Lettenmaier DP (2005) Declining mountain snowpack in western North America. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 86:39–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Nakicenovic N, et al (2000) Special report on emissions scenarios. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  41. Nijssen B, Lettenmaier DP, Liang X, Wetzel SW, Wood E (1997) Streamflow simulation for continental-scale basins. Water Resour Res 33(4):711–724CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Nijssen B, O’Donnell GM, Lettenmaier DP, Lohmann D, Wood EF (2001) Predicting the discharge of global rivers. J Clim 14:1790–1808CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Payne JT, Wood AW, Hamlet AF, Palmer RN, Lettenmaier DP (2004) Mitigating the effects of climate change on the water resources of the Columbia River basin. Clim Change 62:233–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Russell GL, Miller JR, Rind D (1995) A coupled atmosphere–ocean model for transient climate change studies. Atmos–Ocean 33:683–730Google Scholar
  45. Russell GL, Miller JR, Rind D, Ruedy RA, Schmidt GA, Sheth S (2000) Comparison of model and observed regional temperature changes during the past 40 years. J Geophys Res 105:14891–14898CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Salas-Mélia D, Chauvin F, Déqué M, Douville H, Gueremy JF, Marquet P, Planton S, Royer JF, Tyteca S (2005) Description and validation of the CNRM-CM3 global coupled model. Clim Dyn (in review)Google Scholar
  47. Snyder MA, Bell JL, Sloan LC, Duffy PB, Govindasamy B (2002) Climate responses to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide for a climatically vulnerable region. Geophys Res Lett 29(11), doi 10.1029/2001GL014431
  48. Stewart IT, Cayan DR, Dettinger MD (2004) Changes in snowmelt runoff timing in western North America under a ‘business as usual’ climate change scenario. Clim Change 62:217–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Stewart I, Cayan DR, Dettinger MD (2005) Changes toward earlier streamflow timing across western North America. J Climate 18:1136–1155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Trenberth KE, Dai A, Rasmussen RM, Parsons DB (2003) The changing character of precipitation. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 84:1205–1217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. National Assessment Synthesis Team (2000) Climate change impacts on the United States: the potential consequences of climate variability and change on water resources of the United States. US Global Change Research Program, Washington, District of Columbia, p 151Google Scholar
  52. Van Rheenen NT, Wood AW, Palmer RN, Lettenmaier DP (2004) Potential implications of PCM climate change scenarios for California hydrology and water resources. Clim Change 62:257–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Washington WM, Weatherly JW, Meehl GA, Semtner AJ, Bettge TW, Craig AP, Strand WG, Arblaster J, Wayland VB, James R, Zhang Y (2000) Parallel climate model (PCM) control and transient simulations. Clim Dyn 16:755–774CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wilby RL, Harris I (2006) A framework for assessing uncertainties in climate change impacts: low-flow scenarios for the River Thames, UK. Water Resour Res 42, W02419, doi 10.1029/2005WR004065
  55. Wilks DS (2006) Statistical methods in the atmospheric sciences, 2nd edn. Academic, San Diego, California, p 627Google Scholar
  56. Wood AW, Maurer EP, Kumar A, Lettenmaier DP (2002) Long range experimental hydrologic forecasting for the eastern U.S. J Geophys Res 107(D20):4429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wood AW, Leung LR, Sridhar V, Lettenmaier DP (2004) Hydrologic implications of dynamical and statistical approaches to downscaling climate model outputs. Clim Change 62:189–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Yukimoto S, Noda A, Kitoh A, Sugi M, Kitamura Y, Hosaka M, Shibata K, Maeda S, Uchiyama T (2001) The new Meteorological Research Institute coupled GCM (MRI-CGCM2) – model climate and variability. Pap Meteorol Geophys 51:47–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Zhao R-J, Fang L-R, Liu X-R, Zhang Q-S (1980) The Xin’anjiang model, in hydrological forecasting, proceedings, Oxford Symposium. IAHS Publ 129:351–356Google Scholar
  60. Zierl B, Bugmann H (2005) Global change impacts on hydrological processes in Alpine Catchments. Water Resour Res 41, doi 10:1029/2004WR003447

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Civil Engineering DepartmentSanta Clara UniversitySanta ClaraUSA

Personalised recommendations