Water resources and climate

Document Type



Greenhouse gas emissions have dominated much of the scientific and political debate on global warming. However, the primary concern for engineering applications in water resources are fluctuations and trends in precipitation and air temperature, whether caused by global warming or natural variability. In environments with little snow accumulation, precipitation is the main cause of hydrologic variability. In snow environments, air temperature further contributes to the hydrologic variability by controlling development of snow pack and dictating timing of snow accumulation and melt. In addition to affecting water quantity, persistent departures in precipitation or air temperature from normal conditions also affect water quality by impacting pollutant loads in rivers, flood hazards by changing the frequency of extreme events, stream habitat and channel stability by shifting flow regime, and operations of water resources infrastructure by making future water availability uncertain.


Civil engineering; Climate change; Global warming; Water Availability; Water management


Civil Engineering | Climate | Environmental Sciences | Fresh Water Studies | Natural Resources Management and Policy


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