Implications of 21st century climate change for the hydrology of Washington State
Elsner, M.M., L. Cuo, N. Voisin, J. Deems, A.F. Hamlet, J.A. Vano, K.E.B. Mickelson, S.Y. Lee, and D.P. Lettenmaier. 2010. Implications of 21st century climate change for the hydrology of Washington State. Climatic Change 102(1-2): 225-260, doi: 10.1007/s10584-010-9855-0.
Pacific Northwest (PNW) hydrology is particularly sensitive to changes in climate because snowmelt dominates seasonal runoff, and temperature changes impact the rain/snow balance. Based on results from the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR4), we updated previous studies of implications of climate change on PNW hydrology. PNW 21st century hydrology was simulated using 20 Global Climate Models (GCMs) and 2 greenhouse gas emissions scenarios over Washington and the greater Columbia River watershed, with additional focus on the Yakima River watershed and the Puget Sound which are particularly sensitive to climate change. We evaluated projected changes in snow water equivalent (SWE), soil moisture, runoff, and streamflow for A1B and B1 emissions scenarios for the 2020s, 2040s, and 2080s.
UW Climate Impacts Group