Climate and Hydrology Studies Water Resources in a Changing Climate:
Hydrologic Scenario Development for Long-range Planning

The following is a small sampling of papers, reports, and other documentation on climate change and hydrologic impacts that have been written by researchers involved in planning the April 30 meeting.

These documents are offered as background reading for the workshop; they are not required. (To view PDF files, you need the Free Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Climate Change Dynamics

• Mote, P. 2001. Scientific assessment of climate change: Global and regional scales. Preparatory White Paper for Climate and Water Policy Meeting, Skamania, Washington, July 16-17, 2001. (161k pdf)

Provides a basic overview of climate change projections on the global and regional scale for the Pacific Northwest.


Hydrologic Impacts of Climate Change

• Cayan, D.R., M.D. Dettinger, K.T. Redmond, G.J. McCabe, N. Knowles, and D.H. Peterson. 2003. The Transboundary Setting of California's Water and Hydropower Systems. Chapter 10 in H.F. Diaz and B. Morehouse (eds.), Climate and Water: Transboundary Challenges in the Americas. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers (in press). (Sorry, no link available to this paper. Copies are available upon request.)

Examines California's vulnerabilities to climate change as a result of the regional scale of climate impacts and California's reliance on resources from an especially broad region for water and power.

Cayan, D., S. Kammerdiener, M. Dettinger, J. Caprio, and D. Peterson. 2001. Changes in the Onset of Spring in the Western United States. Bulletin of the American Meteorlogical Society, Vol. 82, No. 3: 399-415. (1.1MB pdf)

Examines fluctuations in spring climate in the western United States over the last four to five decades by examining changes in the blooming of plants and timing of snowmelt runoff pulses.

• Hamlet, A. F. 2001. Effects of climate change on water resources in the Pacific Northwest: Impacts and policy implications. Preparatory White Paper for Climate and Water Policy Meeting, Skamania, Washington, July 16-17, 2001. (500k pdf)

Provides a basic overview of climate change impacts on PNW water resources. This paper was originally prepared for policy makers and is a companion paper to Philip Mote's "Scientific Assessment of Climate Change: Global and Regional Scales" (above).

• Hamlet, A.F., D.P. Lettenmaier. 1999. Effects of Climate Change on Hydrology and
Water Resources in the Columbia River Basin. Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 35, (6), pp.1597-1623, Dec.
(Sorry, no link available to this paper. Copies are available upon request.)


Assesses the impact of climate change on the hydrology and water resources of the Columbia River basin using four global climate models. Includes assessment of the system's ability to meet regional water resources objectives.

• Hamlet, A.F., D.P. Lettenmaier, and A.K. Snover. 2003. Climate Change Streamflow Scenarios for Critical Period Water Planning Studies: A Technical Methodology. To be submitted to Journal of the American Water Resources Association (undergoing internal review)

Describes the web-based climate change streamflow scenarios tool under development by the Climate Impacts Group. The tool will be discussed in the April 30 meeting.

• Stewart, I.T., D.R. Cayan, and M.D. Dettinger. 2003. Changes in Snowmelt Runoff Timing in Western North America under a 'Business as Usual' Climate Change Scenario. Submitted to Climatic Change, 3/27/03. (Sorry, no link available to this paper. Copies are available upon request.)

Uses Parallel Climate Model (PCM) simulations of the 1995-2099 climate under a business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions scenario to project likely responses of snowmelt runoff timing in snowmelt-dominated rivers across western North America.

Watershed Studies

• Cohen, S. and T. Kulkarni (2001). Water Management & Climate Change in the Okanagan Basin. Environment Canada & University of British Columbia: 75.
(Note: this is a large report - 2.61MB pdf).

Results of a study on the potential implications of climatic change for the Okanagan region of British Columbia. The study specifically set out to identify climate change impacts and possible adaptation strategies for the Okanagan region, and to test an approach for engaging resource managers and regional stakeholders in research and dialogue on climate change impacts and adaptation.

• Merritt, W.S., Y. Alila, M. Barton, B. Taylor, and S. Cohen. Exploring Impacts of Climate Change on the Hydrology of the Okanagan Basin. To be published in the Proceedings of the Canadian Water Resources Association, June 2003, Vancouver, British Columbia. (314k pdf)

Describes the methodology being used in developing hydrologic scenarios for the BC
portion of the Okanagan Basin. Some scenario results using this methodology should be available on April 30.


• Palmer, R.N. and M. Hahn. 2003. The Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Portland, Oregon's Water Supply (draft). (528k pdf)

Evaluates the impacts of climate change on municipal water supplies using the City of Portland, Oregon and its Bull Run River watershed as a case study. This paper is being prepared for submittal for publication.

• Payne, J.T., A.W. Wood, A.F. Hamlet, R.N. Palmer, and D.P. Lettenmaier. 2002.
Mitigating the effects of climate change on the water resources of the Columbia
River basin
, Climatic Change (in review).

Evaluates the potential effects of climate change on the hydrology and water resources of the Columbia River Basin using simulations from the U.S. Department of Energy and National Center for Atmospheric Research Parallel Climate Model (DOE/NCAR PCM). This paper, currently in review, is one of several papers prepared as part of the Department of Energy's Accelerated Climate Prediction Initiative.

• Knowles, N. and D.R. Cayan. 2002. Potential Effects of Global Warming on the Sacramento/San Joaquin watershed and the San Francisco estuary. Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 29, No. 18, 1891, doi:10.1029/2001GL014339, 2002. (Sorry, no link available to this paper. Copies are available upon request.)

Uses the Parallel Climate Model (PCM) to assess climate change on snowpack and streamflow in the
Sacramento/San Joaquin watershed and water quality in the San Francisco estuary.

• Van Rheenen, N.T., A.W. Wood, R.N. Palmer and D.P. Lettenmaier. 2002. Potential
Implications of PCM Climate Change Scenarios for Sacramento - San Joaquin River
Basin Hydrology and Water Resources
, Climatic Change (in review).

Evaluates the potential effects of climate change on water supply and management in California's Sacramento and San Joaquin River Basins using simulations from the U.S. Department of Energy and National Center for Atmospheric Research Parallel Climate Model (DOE/NCAR PCM). The paper also investigates the impacts of
several different strategies to mitigate climate change impacts in the region. The Van Rheenen et al. paper is one of several papers prepared as part of the Department of Energy's Accelerated Climate Prediction Initiative.

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For more information, please contact:

Lara Whitely Binder
Outreach Specialist
Climate Impacts Group
University of Washington
206-616-5349