The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance

Links

The Effects of Climate Change on Seasonal Snowpack and the Hydrology of the Northeastern and Upper Midwest United States

TitleThe Effects of Climate Change on Seasonal Snowpack and the Hydrology of the Northeastern and Upper Midwest United States
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsDemaria EMC, Roundy JK, Wi S, Palmer RN
JournalJournal of Climate
Volume29
Issue18
Start Page6527
Pagination6527–6541
Date Published09/2016
ISSN0894-8755
KeywordsClimate change, Hydrologic cycle, hydrologic models, hydrology, Models and modeling, Physical Meteorology and Climatology, Snow cover
Abstract

The potential effects of climate change on the snowpack of the Northeastern and Upper Midwest United States are assessed using statistically downscaled climate projections from an ensemble of ten climate models and a macro-scale hydrological model. Climate simulations for the region indicate warmer-than-normal temperatures and wetter conditions for the snow season (November through April) during the 21st century. However, despite projected increases in seasonal precipitation statistically significant negative trends in snow water equivalent (SWE) are found for the region. Snow cover is likely to migrate northward in the future as a result of warmer-than-present air temperatures with higher loss rates in northern latitudes and at high elevation. Decreases in future (2041-2095) snow cover in early spring will likely affect the timing of maximum spring peak streamflows, with earlier peaks predicted in more than 80% of the 124 basins studied.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0632.1
DOI10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0632.1