U.S. Forest Service and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) scientists have found that rising levels of ozone, a greenhouse gas, may amplify the impacts of higher temperatures and reduce streamflow from forests to rivers, streams, and other water bodies. Such effects could potentially reduce water supplies available to support forest ecosystems and people in the southeastern United States.
Researchers developed models based on 18 to 26 years of data and observed streamflow in response to climate and atmospheric chemistry during the growing season. The research team evaluated individual and interactive effects of ozone on late season streamflow for six southeastern forested watersheds ranging in size from 38 acres to more than 3,700 square miles. Estimates of ozone's influence on streamflow ranged from 7 percent in the area of lowest ozone in West Virginia to 23 percent in the areas of highest exposure in Tennessee.
Ge Sun | EurekAlert!
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