Impacts of climate change on the growing season in the United States

Earth Interactions
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Abstract

Understanding the effects of climate change on the vegetative growing season is key to quantifying future hydrologic water budget conditions. The U.S. Geological Survey modeled changes in future growing season length at 14 basins across 11 states. Simulations for each basin were generated using five general circulation models with three emission scenarios as inputs to the Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System (PRMS). PRMS is a deterministic, distributed-parameter, watershed model developed to simulate the effects of various combinations of precipitation, climate, and land use on watershed response. PRMS was modified to include a growing season calculation in this study. The growing season was examined for trends in the total length (annual), as well as changes in the timing of onset (spring) and the end (fall) of the growing season. The results showed an increase in the annual growing season length in all 14 basins, averaging 27–47 days for the three emission scenarios. The change in the spring and fall growing season onset and end varied across the 14 basins, with larger increases in the total length of the growing season occurring in the mountainous regions and smaller increases occurring in the Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast regions. The Clear Creek basin, 1 of the 14 basins in this study, was evaluated to examine the growing season length determined by emission scenario, as compared to a growing season length fixed baseline condition. The Clear Creek basin showed substantial variation in hydrologic responses, including streamflow, as a result of growing season length determined by emission scenario.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Impacts of climate change on the growing season in the United States
Series title Earth Interactions
DOI 10.1175/2011EI376.1
Volume 15
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher American Meteorological Society
Publisher location Boston, MA
Contributing office(s) Iowa Water Science Center
Description 17 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Earth Interactions
First page 1
Last page 17
Country United States