Issues of Detectability of Climate Change Impacts on the Runoff of a Southeastern River Basin

by David K. Hains, Univ of Alabama, United States,
Harold R. Henry, Univ of Alabama, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


Can we detect and predict changes in hydrology caused by climate changes? Assuming credible predictions of climate change, can we predict corresponding hydrologic effects? Are uncertainties in data and in modeling when combined with natural stochastic variabilities and multiyear periodicities large enough to obscure hydrologic changes driven by climate changes? Is it possible to modify our approaches to increase the effectiveness of efforts to detect climate change impacts on hydrology? This paper addresses these questions by first examining quantitative results from a specific example using current modeling techniques. Next, examples of multiyear hydrologic periodicities are exhibited. Then we discuss new hydrologic data sources along with suggested approaches that may increase effectiveness in identifying climate change impacts on stream runoff.

Subject Headings: Hydrologic data | Climate change | Hydrologic models | Rivers and streams | Hydrology | Runoff | Weather forecasting

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