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Human-induced changes in the hydrology of the Western United States

Science

By:
, , , , , , , , , , ,
DOI: 10.1126/science.1152538

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Abstract

Observations have shown that the hydrological cycle of the western United States changed significantly over the last half of the 20th century. We present a regional, multivariable climate change detection and attribution study, using a high-resolution hydrologic model forced by global climate models, focusing on the changes that have already affected this primarily arid region with a large and growing population. The results show that up to 60% of the climate-related trends of river flow, winter air temperature, and snow pack between 1950 and 1999 are human-induced. These results are robust to perturbation of study variates and methods. They portend, in conjunction with previous work, a coming crisis in water supply for the western United States.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Human-induced changes in the hydrology of the Western United States
Series title:
Science
DOI:
10.1126/science.1152538
Volume
319
Issue:
5866
Year Published:
2008
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Science
First page:
1080
Last page:
1083
Number of Pages:
4