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Increases in flood magnitudes in California under warming climates

Journal of Hydrology

By:
, , , , and
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2013.07.042

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Abstract

Downscaled and hydrologically modeled projections from an ensemble of 16 Global Climate Models suggest that flooding may become more intense on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the primary source for California’s managed water system. By the end of the 21st century, all 16 climate projections for the high greenhouse-gas emission SRES A2 scenario yield larger floods with return periods ranging 2–50 years for both the Northern Sierra Nevada and Southern Sierra Nevada, regardless of the direction of change in mean precipitation. By end of century, discharges from the Northern Sierra Nevada with 50-year return periods increase by 30–90% depending on climate model, compared to historical values. Corresponding flood flows from the Southern Sierra increase by 50–100%. The increases in simulated 50 year flood flows are larger (at 95% confidence level) than would be expected due to natural variability by as early as 2035 for the SRES A2 scenario.

Geospatial Extents

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Increases in flood magnitudes in California under warming climates
Series title:
Journal of Hydrology
DOI:
10.1016/j.jhydrol.2013.07.042
Volume
501
Year Published:
2013
Language:
English
Publisher:
Elsevier
Contributing office(s):
National Research Program - Western Branch
Description:
10 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Hydrology
First page:
101
Last page:
110
Number of Pages:
10
Country:
United States
State:
California
Other Geospatial:
Sierra Nevada