Climate variability and climate change

Document Type



Climate change and climate variability has received considerable attention from the scientific community in recent decades and has led to a better understanding of various climate phenomena and driving mechanisms. This increased understanding of various climate has also prompted policy makers to ask two important questions: (1) How can an improved understanding of climate variability advance our ability to manage resources such as water, energy, and the environment; (2) What are the potential impacts on our key resources due to projected climate change? These are not easy questions to answer, and probably can not be answered with a high degree of certainty. However, scientists and engineers must make the best assessment of climate impacts given the current state of knowledge. The information presented in this section is meant as a primer of issues related to climate variability and climate change. From an engineer's perspective, the implications may be significant for design of infrastructure (i.e., water supply systems, flood control systems) and for the optimal operation of water systems. This section will review natural climate variations and teleconnections, followed by a brief explanation of anthropogenic climate change, and conclude with an overview of climate predictability and forecasting.


Climate change; Forecasting; Water management


Climate | Environmental Sciences | Fresh Water Studies


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