Fact Sheet 2011–3124
General Circulation Model simulations of future climate through 2099 project a wide range of possible scenarios. To determine the sensitivity and potential effect of long-term climate change on the freshwater resources of the United States, the U.S. Geological Survey Global Change study, “An integrated watershed scale response to global change in selected basins across the United States” was started in 2008. The long-term goal of this national study is to provide the foundation for hydrologically based climate change studies across the nation.
Fourteen basins for which the Precipitation Runoff Modeling System has been calibrated and evaluated were selected as study sites. Precipitation Runoff Modeling System is a deterministic, distributed parameter watershed model developed to evaluate the effects of various combinations of precipitation, temperature, and land use on streamflow and general basin hydrology. Output from five General Circulation Model simulations and four emission scenarios were used to develop an ensemble of climate-change scenarios for each basin. These ensembles were simulated with the corresponding Precipitation Runoff Modeling System model. This fact sheet summarizes the hydrologic effect and sensitivity of the Precipitation Runoff Modeling System simulations to climate change for the South Fork Flathead River Basin, Montana.
First posted March 16, 2012
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Chase, K.J., Hay, L.E., and Markstrom, S.L., 2012, Watershed scale response to climate change—South Fork Flathead River Basin, Montana: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2011–3124, 6 p.
General Circulation Models
Conclusion and Discussion