February 28, 2007
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Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 6, NUMBER 12, DECEMBER 1993
IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE: HYDROLOGY
"Application of a Land Class Hydrological Model to Climatic Change,"
G.W. Kite (Nat. Hydrol. Res. Inst., 11 Innovation Blvd., Saskatoon SK S7N 3H5,
Can.), Water Resour. Res., 29(7), 2377-2384, July 1993.
Developed a model in which parameters are based on land use, and verified it
for a watershed in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia. Estimated the
changes in land use associated with a doubled CO2 and reran the model
incorporating the changed climate and changed land use.
"Use of Output from High-Resolution Atmospheric Models in
Landscape-Scale Hydrologic Models: An Assessment," S.W. Hostetler (USGS,
3215 Marine St., Boulder CO 80303), F. Giorgi, ibid., 29(6),
1685-1695, June 1993.
Used output from two year-round simulations by a regional climate model to
drive a lake model and a streamflow model. Found that such coupling of models
may be a useful approach to evaluate the effects of climate change on hydrologic
"Recent Hydroclimatic Fluctuations and Their Effects on Water
Resources in Illinois," K. Smith (Dept. Environ. Sci., Univ. Stirling,
Stirling FK9 4LA, UK), Clim. Change, 24(3), 249-269, July 1993.
Examines the impacts of observed climatic fluctuations on physical hydrology
in order to match the spatial scale of the fluctuations to the scale of the
hydrologic systems. Explores the extent to which changing climate may have
created water resource problems and prompted managerial adjustments.
"Characterizing the Distribution of Observed Precipitation and Runoff
over the Continental United States," J. Dolph (ManTech Environ. Technol.,
U.S. EPA Res. Lab., 200 SW 35th St., Corvallis OR 97330), D. Marks, ibid.,
22(2), 99-119, Oct. 1992.
Developed a geographic database of historical precipitation and runoff
measurements, and used it in spatial analysis and in assessment of the utility
and limitation of historical data. The incorporation of high elevation snow
measurements into the precipitation record significantly improved the water
balance estimates and enhanced the use of historical data in some areas.
"Groundwater Fluxes in the Global Hydrologic Cycle: Past, Present and
Future," I.S. Zektser (Dept. Geog., Univ. California, Santa Barbara CA
93106), H.A. Loaiciga, J. Hydrol., 144(1-4), 405-427, Apr. 1993.
Analyzes groundwater contributions to river runoff, direct sub-marine
discharges to the ocean floor, and salt throughput to oceans. Discusses
anthropogenic modifications over the last 300 years, and the likely role of
potential global warming.
"Repercussions of a CO2 Doubling on the Water Balance: A Case Study
in Switzerland," F. Bultot (Swiss Nat. Hydrol. & Geol. Surv., Bern,
Switz.), D. Gellens et al., ibid., 137(1-4), 199-208, Aug. 15,
Investigated the impact on a Swiss catchment using a daily step conceptual
"Long-Term Variations in Regional Rainfall in the South-West of
Western Australia and the Difference between Average and High-Intensity
Rainfalls," B. Yu (Dept. Biogeog. & Geomorphol., Australian Nat. Univ.,
Canberra ACT 2601, Australia), D.T. Neil, Intl. J. Climatol., 13(1),
77-88, Jan.-Feb. 1993.
Records for the region suggest that, in a CO2-warmed world, high-intensity
rainfall may occur more frequently, irrespective of local change to average
"Australian Runoff Scenarios from a Runoff Climate Model," M.P.
Morassutti (Sch. Earth Sci., Macquarie Univ., N. Ryde NSW 2109, Australia), ibid.,
12(8), 797-813, Dec. 1992.
Estimated changes in annual runoff for three regions under three scenarios
of transient trace gas levels. Predicted that all regions would have significant
increases in mean annual runoff under all scenarios, due to intense aridity and
changes in precipitation and evaporation.
"Simulated Changes in Daily Rainfall Intensity Due to the Enhanced
Greenhouse Effect: Implications for Extreme Rainfall Events," H.B. Gordon
(CSIRO, POB 1, Mordialloc Vic. 3195, Australia), P.H. Whetton et al., Clim.
Dynamics, 8(2), 83-102, Dec. 1992.
A general circulation model predicts that, for CO2 doubling, rainfall
intensity and the frequency of heavy rainfall events will increase in most of
the world, even though total rainfall may decrease. The findings have
implications in terms of frequency and severity of floods. Discusses the
uncertainties and potential of this type of model.
"Sensitivity of Runoff to Climate Change: A Hortonian Approach,"
J.C.I. Dooge (Ctr. Water Resour. Res., Univ. Coll., Dublin, Ire.), Bull.
Amer. Meteor. Soc., 73(12), 2013-2024, Dec. 1992.
Reviews the late Robert Horton's approach, and suggests that his techniques
give insight into the nature of this problem through a partial analysis of the
"Contemplating Old Clues to the Impact of Future Greenhouse Climates
in South Africa," P.B. Beaumont (McGregor Museum, POB 316, Kimberley 8300,
SA), G.H. Miller, J.C. Vogel, South African J. Sci., 88(9-10),
490-498, Sep.-Oct. 1992.
Evidence from archeological sites in the summer-rainfall region of the
subcontinent suggests that increased and more seasonal rainfall may accompany
warming during the next half century. These changes may cause severe biosphere
stress and accelerating losses of biological diversity.
"Sensitivity of Pacific Northwest Water Resources to Global Warming,"
D.P. Lettenmaier (Dept. Civil Eng. FX-10, Univ. Washington, Seattle WA 98195),
K.L. Brettmann et al., Northwest Environ. J., 8(2), 265-283),
Developed models to identify water management conflicts that might arise in
the region under a warming of 2· and 4·C. Found that water supply
reliability would be degraded by an earlier spring runoff pattern, and that more
efficient reservoir operation alone would not mitigate the problem.
"Impacts of Climatic Change on River Flow Regimes in the U.K.,"
N.W. Arnell (Inst. Hydrol., Wallingford OX10 8BB, Oxon, UK), J. Inst. Water &
Environ. Mgmt., 6(4), 432-442, Aug. 1992.
Summarizes possible effects of warming on average annual runoff, and on
seasonal variation in rainfall, evapotranspiration and river flow. Stresses the
high degree of uncertainty in the predictions.
"Effect of Rising Sea Level on Runoff and Groundwater Discharge to
Coastal Ecosystems," W.K. Nuttle (Ocean Sci. Ctr., Memorial Univ.
Newfoundland, St. John's Newfoundl., Can.), J.W. Portnoy, Estuarine, Coastal
& Shelf Sci., 34, 203-212, 1992.
The link between sea level rise and runoff is dependent on the sensitivity
of runoff to changes in the watertable. Demonstrates this link for a coastal
watershed on Cape Cod, where a 10 cm rise in the watertable would increase
surface runoff by 70% and decrease groundwater discharge by 20%.
Two items from Nordic Hydrol., 23(3), 1992:
"Worldwide Testing of the Snowmelt Runoff Model with Applications for
Predicting the Effects of Climate Change," A. Rango (USDA ARS, Bldg. 265,
Beltsville MD 20705), 155-172. Tested the model for the evaluation of impacts of
climate change on over 50 basins in different climatic regions. Initial results
showed potentially serious problems involving water supply, flooding and
"Stability of River Flow Regimes," I. Krasovskaia (Hydroconsult
AB, Drottninggaten 4, S-75220 Uppsala, Swed.), L. Gottschalk, 137-154. Develops
a classification for flow regimes (the seasonal distribution of flow and the
time of occurrence of high and low flow) to aid in the formulation of
environmental and economic policies.
"Impacts of GISS-Modeled Climate Changes on Catchment Hydrology,"
D. Panagoulia (Dept. Civil Eng., Natl. Tech. Univ. Athens, GR-15773 Athens,
Greece), Hydrological Sci. J.--J. des Sci. Hydrologiques, 37(2),
141-163, Apr. 1992.
All three scenarios of CO2 doubling simulated for a mountainous catchment in
Greece indicate decreased average snow accumulations, spring and summer runoff,
and soil moisture, but increased winter runoff, soil moisture storage and spring
"The Response of Fluvial Systems to Climate Change--An Example from
the Central Great Plains," C.W. Martin (Dept. Geog., Kansas State Univ.
Agric. & Appl. Sci., Manhattan KS 66506), Physical Geog., 13(2),
101-114, Apr.-June 1992.
A late Holocene alluvial chronology for a Nebraska river, and late Holocene
alluvial and paleoclimatic records of the central Great Plains, illustrate the
problems inherent in relating fluvial activity to climatic change. Further study
is needed but is limited by the paucity of fluvial systems unaltered by human
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