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Effects of climatic change and climatic variability on the Thornthwaite moisture index in the Delaware River basin

Climatic Change

By:
and
DOI: 10.1007/BF00154172

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Abstract

The Thornthwaite moisture index is useful as an indicator of the supply of water in an area relative to the demand under prevailing climatic conditions. This study examines the effects of long-term changes in climate (temperature and precipitation) on the Thornthwaite moisture index in the Delaware River basin. Temperature and precipitation estimates for doubled-CO2 conditions derived from three general circulation models (GCMs) are used to study the response of the moisture index for steady-state doubled-CO2 conditions and for gradual changes from present to doubled-CO2 conditions. Results of the study indicate that temperature and precipitation under doubled-CO2 conditions will cause the Thornthwaite moisture index to decrease, implying significantly drier conditions in the Delaware River basin than currently exist. The amount of decrease depends, however, on the GCM climatic-change scenario used. The results also indicate that future changes in the moisture index will be partly masked by natural year-to-year variability in temperature and precipitation. ?? 1992 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Effects of climatic change and climatic variability on the Thornthwaite moisture index in the Delaware River basin
Series title:
Climatic Change
DOI:
10.1007/BF00154172
Volume
20
Issue:
2
Year Published:
1992
Language:
English
Publisher location:
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Climatic Change
First page:
143
Last page:
153
Number of Pages:
11