Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Precipitation declines in Pacific Northwest mountains

03.12.2013
Recent Forest Service studies on high-elevation climate trends in the Pacific Northwest United States show that streamflow declines tie directly to decreases and changes in winter winds that bring precipitation across the region. Scientists believe the driving factors behind this finding relates to natural climate variations and man-made climate change.

Research Hydrologist Charlie Luce, with the Rocky Mountain Research Station's Aquatic Sciences Laboratory in Boise, Idaho, along with cooperators at the University of Idaho and the US Forest Service Northern Region, reflect on the decline of precipitation in the region's mountains for 60 years.

Increasing wildfire area and earlier and lower streamflows have generally been attributed to warming temperatures. "Our research," says Luce, "suggests that an alternative mechanism – decreases in winter winds leading to decreased precipitation – may compound the changes expected from warming alone.

This is important because mountains are a primary water source for the region. Less precipitation leads to reduced runoff for communities, industry and agriculture. Decreased precipitation also exacerbates early snowmelt tied to warming temperatures.

Acknowledging the effects of decreasing precipitation requires changes in how resource specialists approach climate change adaptation for water resources and forest management compared to preparing for increased temperature alone," he said. According to Luce, this may present important implications for changes in mountain precipitation and future water availability for other areas as well.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is publishing the study, The Missing Mountain Water; Slower Westerlies Decrease Orographic Enhancement in the Pacific Northwest USA, in their Science Journal, available on Nov. 28, 2013. To download a copy and learn more about this study and what it means for future water and resource management go to http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2013/11/27/science.1242335.full.pdf

Cass Cairns | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.fs.fed.us

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA Satellites Show Drought May Take Toll on Congo Rainforest
24.04.2014 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht First Eurasians left Africa up to 130,000 years ago
22.04.2014 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Siemens at the 2014 UIC ERTMS World Conference in Istanbul

01.04.2014 | Event News

AERA Meeting: German and US-American educational researchers in dialogue

28.03.2014 | Event News

WHS Regional Meeting: International experts address health challenges in Latin America

24.03.2014 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rural microbes could boost city dwellers' health

24.04.2014 | Life Sciences

Iron consumption can increase risk for heart disease

24.04.2014 | Studies and Analyses

Superconducting Qubit Array Points the Way to Quantum Computers

24.04.2014 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>