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ESRL/PSD Seminar Series

Precipitation variability in the Colorado River Basin

Galina Guentchev
UCAR VSP (Visiting Scientist Program) Postdoctoral Fellow with the PACE (Postdocs Applying Climate Expertise) Fellowship Program


The potential impact of climate change on the water resources of the Colorado River Basin has been studied in the past. However, most of the studies focused on ensemble average changes in mean temperature, precipitation, snow water equivalent, runoff, and/or parameters of reservoir system performance for a selected future period. This presentation focuses on research of potential future changes in temporal variability of precipitation in the Colorado River Basin.

A long-term variability analysis requires the homogeneity of the data to be evaluated. The homogeneity characteristics of three gridded data sets derived from precipitation observations [Maurer et al. (2002), the Hamlet and Lettenmaier (2005), and PRISM (Daly et al. 1994, 1997)] will be presented. In addition, results from the quantitative comparison between the observed precipitation variability and that simulated by a set of CMIP3 General Circulation Models (GCMs) for the historical period (1951-1999) will be summarized. Some potential future (2001-2099) precipitation variability changes in the Colorado River Basin based on the A2, B1, and A1B projections from the set of GCM runs will be highlighted.

1D-403 David Skaggs Research Center
Wednesday, February 24 2010

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