02SensitivityRunoffClimateChange2007

02SensitivityRunoffClimateChange2007 - ESM 203: Earth...

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ESM 203: Earth System Science for Environmental Management Homework 2, 40 pts total 16 October 2007, due 30 October 5:00 pm Jeff Dozier, Tom Dunne, & Carl Legleiter (via e-mail to Carl: carl@geog.ucsb.edu) Sensitivity of river runoff and global water balance to climatic change: a thought experiment Exploration of the paper by T. M. L. Wigley and P. D. Jones (1985) Influences of precipitation changes and direct CO 2 effects on streamflow ; Nature , v. 314, p. 149-152, along with Box 3-5 in Dingman, Physical Hydrology . At an early stage in the recognition of large-scale environmental processes or emerg- ing problems, scientists usually begin to explore quantitatively the magnitude and general nature of changes that might be expected. In the early 1980s, when scientists were begin- ning to consider the long-term policy implications of increasing atmospheric CO 2 con- centrations, Wigley and Jones asked the question: how might two potential effects of the elevated CO 2 (changing precipitation amounts and changing evaporation) interact to af- fect the amount of usable water in our rivers in various regions with different climates? The analysis was highly simplified, dealing only with annual totals of precipitation, evaporation, and river flow (runoff), but it generates some useful insights about the poli- cy implications of climatic change for water resources. We will examine the nature of the analyses, the form of the results, the implications of our uncertainty (especially at that time) about certain critical values, and will consider how such analyses might be used in policy analysis. First, read the Wigley-Jones paper and chapter 3 in Dingman (especially Box 3-4) with the following guidance. Note that volumes of precipitation, evaporation, and runoff are expressed as volumes per unit area of a river basin. A volume divided by an area is
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This note was uploaded on 08/06/2008 for the course ESM 203 taught by Professor Dozier,dunne during the Fall '07 term at UCSB.

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02SensitivityRunoffClimateChange2007 - ESM 203: Earth...

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