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Integrated watershed-scale response to climate change for selected basins across the United States

Scientific Investigations Report 2011-5077

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Abstract

A study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) evaluated the hydrologic response to different projected carbon emission scenarios of the 21st century using a hydrologic simulation model. This study involved five major steps: (1) setup, calibrate and evaluated the Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) model in 14 basins across the United States by local USGS personnel; (2) acquire selected simulated carbon emission scenarios from the World Climate Research Programme's Coupled Model Intercomparison Project; (3) statistical downscaling of these scenarios to create PRMS input files which reflect the future climatic conditions of these scenarios; (4) generate PRMS projections for the carbon emission scenarios for the 14 basins; and (5) analyze the modeled hydrologic response. This report presents an overview of this study, details of the methodology, results from the 14 basin simulations, and interpretation of these results. A key finding is that the hydrological response of the different geographical regions of the United States to potential climate change may be different, depending on the dominant physical processes of that particular region. Also considered is the tremendous amount of uncertainty present in the carbon emission scenarios and how this uncertainty propagates through the hydrologic simulations.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Integrated watershed-scale response to climate change for selected basins across the United States
Series title:
Scientific Investigations Report
Series number:
2011-5077
Year Published:
2012
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Branch of Regional Research-Central Region
Description:
x, 134 p.; Appendix
First page:
i
Last page:
143
Number of Pages:
153
Country:
United States
Online Only (Y/N):
Y
Additional Online Files(Y/N):
N