Event Title

Climate Change and Water: From the Globe to Utah

Presenter Information

Kevin Trenberth

Location

Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu

Start Date

1-4-2014 9:20 AM

End Date

1-4-2014 10:00 AM

Description

An examination and assessment is made of the role of climate change on water from global to local scales. Water is not replaceable and it is not substitutable. It is not just another resource. “Water is life”. Water is “Trending Now”: water is in the news, it is important , its availability is changing, and demand is increasing. The focus of this talk is on water in the climate system from an observational perspective. Issues are explored from the standpoint of current understanding, empirical evidence, theory, and process understanding. Often only the total amount of precipitation is considered but precipitation is inherently intermittent and hence the intensity, frequency, duration and type (snow vs rain) matter as much as amount. Yet all of these are changing as the climate changes. The environment in which all storms form has changed owing to human activities. In particular, extremes of the hydrological cycle matter for human society and the environment, and there is a greater risk of drought and floods with global warming. In Utah we expect

  • Increased heavy rain events and even snows.
  • More snow in mid-winter, but a shorter snow season
  • Earlier runoff peak (drier in late spring and early summer)
  • Increased risk of drought, heat waves and wild fires
  • Major challenges for water managers

All of these aspects and more will be discussed.

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Apr 1st, 9:20 AM Apr 1st, 10:00 AM

Climate Change and Water: From the Globe to Utah

Eccles Conference Center

An examination and assessment is made of the role of climate change on water from global to local scales. Water is not replaceable and it is not substitutable. It is not just another resource. “Water is life”. Water is “Trending Now”: water is in the news, it is important , its availability is changing, and demand is increasing. The focus of this talk is on water in the climate system from an observational perspective. Issues are explored from the standpoint of current understanding, empirical evidence, theory, and process understanding. Often only the total amount of precipitation is considered but precipitation is inherently intermittent and hence the intensity, frequency, duration and type (snow vs rain) matter as much as amount. Yet all of these are changing as the climate changes. The environment in which all storms form has changed owing to human activities. In particular, extremes of the hydrological cycle matter for human society and the environment, and there is a greater risk of drought and floods with global warming. In Utah we expect

  • Increased heavy rain events and even snows.
  • More snow in mid-winter, but a shorter snow season
  • Earlier runoff peak (drier in late spring and early summer)
  • Increased risk of drought, heat waves and wild fires
  • Major challenges for water managers

All of these aspects and more will be discussed.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2014/2014Abstracts/27