[asa] More Bad Climate Change News for Western U.S.

From: Rich Blinne <rich.blinne@gmail.com>
Date: Thu Jan 31 2008 - 19:16:56 EST

In today's Science Express:
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/rapidpdf/1152538.pdf (Full paper)
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1152538 (Abstract for
non-members of AAAS)

Observations have shown the hydrological cycle of the western U.S. changed
significantly over the last half of the
twentieth century. Here we present a regional, multivariable climate-change
detection and attribution
study, using a high-resolution hydrologic model forced by global climate
models, focusing on the changes that have
already affected this primarily arid region with a large and growing
population. The results show up to 60% of
the climate related trends of river flow, winter air temperature and snow
pack between 1950-1999 are
human-induced. These results are robust to perturbation of study variates
and methods. They portend, in
conjunction with previous work, a coming crisis in water supply for the
western United States.

Concluding paragraph:
Our results are not good news for those living in the western United States.
The scenario for how western
hydrology will continue to change has already been published using one of
the models employed here [PCM (2)] as well as
in other recent studies of western US hydrology [e.g., (15)]. It foretells
of water shortages, lack of storage capability to meet
seasonally changing river flow, transfers of water from agriculture to urban
uses and other critical impacts. Since
PCM performs so well in replicating the complex signals of the last half of
the 20th century, we have every reason to
believe its projections and to act on them in the immediate future.

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Received on Thu Jan 31 19:18:03 2008

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