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Climate Change and Runoff in Western Wisconsin. John Nowinski, Department of Geological Sciences. Project Question:. How will stream discharge in western Wisconsin be influenced by future climate perturbations ? Best case vs. Worst case scenarios Precip itation vs. Evapotranspiration

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Climate change and runoff in western wisconsin

Climate Change and Runoff in Western Wisconsin

John Nowinski, Department of Geological Sciences


Project question
Project Question:

  • How will stream discharge in western Wisconsin be influenced by future climate perturbations?

    • Best case vs. Worst case scenarios

    • Precipitation vs. Evapotranspiration

    • How can a GIS help?



Study area1
Study Area

Drainage Area: 5757km2

Stream Length: 4480 km


Basic methodology
Basic Methodology

  • Discharge=Precipitation-Evapotranspiration

    • Long Term

    • Assumes ∆Storage=0

  • Model Current Discharge Accurately

    • Use mild and severe climate projections to predict future conditions


Precip temp
Precip (+ Temp)

  • ~Uniform Distribution

  • Monthly data from1 station for simplicity


Evapotranspiration empirical approach
Evapotranspiration: empirical approach

(Malmstrom, 1969), (Pike, 1964)

PET and W in mm/month,

ea* in kPa,

Ta in C


Discharge calculation
Discharge Calculation

  • qcell=Flow Accumulation*(W-ET)*Cell Area

    • NHD FAC grid

    • Raster Calculator

  • Comparisons for 7 USGS NWIS Sites


Model accuracy
Model Accuracy

Model slightly overestimates observed discharge


Low emissions hadcm3 pcm
Low Emissions (HadCM3+PCM)

Winter Precip

+5%

Summer Precip

+15%

Winter Temp

+4 C

Summer Temp

+4 C


High emissions hadcm3 pcm
High Emissions (HadCM3+PCM)

Winter Precip

-5%

Summer Precip

+15%

Winter Temp

+8 C

Summer Temp

+7 C


Evapotranspiration empirical approach1
Evapotranspiration: empirical approach

(Malmstrom, 1969), (Pike, 1964)

PET and W in mm/month,

ea* in kPa,

Ta in C


Conclusion
Conclusion

  • Discharge decrease for both low emission and high emission scenarios (ET beats precip)

    • High scenario is much more severe


Limitations and future work
Limitations and Future Work

  • Empirical Equations have limited accuracy

  • Model overestimates q

  • Monthly Discharge Calculations

    • Need for dams?




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