The effects of climate change on stream flow and nutrient loading

Heejun Chang, Barry M. Evans, David R. Easterling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study assesses the potential impact of climate change on stream flow and nutrient loading in six watersheds of the Susquehanna River Basin using the Generalized Watershed Loading Function (GWLF). The model was used to simulate changes in stream flow and nutrient loads under a transient climate change scenario for each watershed. Under an assumption of no change in land cover and land management, the model was used to predict monthly changes in stream flow and nutrient loads for future climate conditions. Mean annual stream flow and nutrient loads increased for most watersheds, but decreased in one watershed that was intensively cultivated. Nutrient loading slightly decreased in April and late summer for several watersheds as a result of early snowmelt and increasing evapotranspiration. Spatial and temporal variability of stream flow and nutrient loads under the transient climate scenario indicates that different approaches for future water resource management may be useful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)973-985
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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