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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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