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Changes is Stream Flow due to Increases in Greenhouse Gas Forcing

PI: Eugene S. Takle
Institution: Iowa State University
Additional Investigators: Manoj Jha, Chris Anderson
We propose to evaluate stream flow in a major river basin for contemporary and future scenario climates produced by an ensemble of GCMs for comparison with the observed climate of the 20th century and with simulations of pre-industrial control climates. We have verified the capabilities of the SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) model for simulating annual and interannual variability in stream flow in the Upper Mississippi River Basin (UMRB) for the late 20th century and demonstrated that a future scenario climate gives stream flow significantly different from contemporary climates (Jha et al., 2004). Stream flow is an integrator of many hydrological processes including precipitation, snowmelt, evapotranspiration, and soil moisture changes and as such presents a challenging variable for evaluating GCM performance over mid-continental areas. SWAT requires input values of daily maximum and minimum temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, solar radiation and precipitation. SWAT will create daily values by use of its internal weather generator operating on GCM monthly values or it will take GCM daily values directly if such are available. The domain will be the central US. Personnel involved include Phil Gassman, Manoj Jha, and Eugene Takle of Iowa State University.
  • Takle, E. S., M. Jha, and C. J. Anderson, 2005: Hydrological cycle in the upper Mississippi River basin: 20th century simulations using multiple GCMs. Geophysical Research Letters, 32, doi:10.1029/2005GL023630. Abstract. Edit.

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