Modeling Climate Change Impacts on the Water Balance of a Medium-Scale Mixed-Forest Watershed, SE USA

Authors: Andrew Day*, University of Louisville, David Howarth, University of Louisville
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology, Water Resources and Hydrology, Physical Geography
Keywords: runoff, evapotranspiration, water resources
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download



One of the most debatable impacts of projected climate change focuses on the hydrological cycle water balance which has the potential to alter future water resource availability at all spatial scales. This study investigated the impacts of projected changes in monthly air temperature and precipitation to the mid-21st Century compared to the 1981-2010 normal climate conditions for a forest dominated medium-scale watershed in the SE USA. We utilized a water-balance model developed by the USGS to simulate historical long-term monthly ET and runoff using gridded monthly air temperature and precipitation datasets. Following this projected precipitation and temperature data were incorporated into the model to calculate future monthly ET and runoff values towards the mid-21st century. The results suggest a significant increase in the summer soil moisture deficit and reduction in soil moisture availability throughout the year which could severely impact overall water resource availability within the watershed.

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