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Hydrologic effects of climate change in the Delaware River basin

January 1, 1989

The Thornthwaite water balance and combinations of temperature and precipitation changes representing climate change were used to estimate changes in seasonal soil-moisture and runoff in the Delaware River basin. Winter warming may cause a greater proportion of precipitation in the northern part of the basin to fall as rain, which may increase winter runoff and decrease spring and summer runoff. Estimates of total annual runoff indicate that a 5 percent increase in precipitation would be needed to counteract runoff decreases resulting from a warming of 2??C; a 15 percent increase for a warming of 4??C. A warming of 2?? to 4??C, without precipitation increases, may cause a 9 to 25 percent decrease in runoff. The general circulation model derived changes in annual runoff ranged from -39 to +9 percent. Results generally agree with those obtained in studies elsewhere. The changes in runoff agree in direction but differ in magnitude. Additional aspects of the subject are discussed.

Publication Year 1989
Title Hydrologic effects of climate change in the Delaware River basin
DOI 10.1111/j.1752-1688.1989.tb01335.x
Authors Gregory J. McCabe, Mark A. Ayers
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Water Resources Bulletin
Index ID 70015479
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse