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Sensitivity of water resources in the Delaware River basin to climate variability and change

Open-File Report 92-52

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Abstract

Because of the "greenhouse effect," projected increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels might cause global warming, which in turn could result in changes in precipitation patterns and evapotranspiration and in increases in sea level. This report describes the greenhouse effect; discusses the problems and uncertainties associated with the detection, prediction, and effects of climatic change, and presents the results of sensitivity-analysis studies of the potential effects of climate change on water resources in the Delaware River basin.


On the basis of sensitivity analyses, potentially serious shortfalls of certain water resources in the basin could result if some climatic-change scenarios become true. The results of basin streamflow-model simulations in this study demonstrate the difficulty in distinguishing effects of climatic change on streamflow and water supply from effects of natural variability in current climate. The future direction of basin changes in most water resources, furthermore, cannot be determined precisely because of uncertainty in current projections of regional temperature and precipitation. This large uncertainty indicates that, for resource planning, information defining the sensitivities of water resources to a range of climate change is most relevant. The sensitivity analyses could be useful in developing contingency plans on how to evaluate and respond to changes, should they occur.

Geospatial Extents

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Sensitivity of water resources in the Delaware River basin to climate variability and change
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
92-52
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1993
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Description:
vii, 68 p.
Country:
United States
State:
Delaware;New Jersey;Pennsylvania
Other Geospatial:
Delaware River
Scale:
500000