Many of us here in the Climate Research Division study the effects of human activity on climate, a process termed "anthropogenic forcing." Sometimes people call this "global warming" because "anthropogenic forcing" is unwieldy, and a large number of studies have found that gases produced by modern industrial societies tend to make the Earth's climate warmer.
Our studies of anthropogenic forcing have concentrated on water
resources in the western United States. Right now, this is a semi-arid
region with a large population. What will happen to the availability
of fresh water in future years? Will the changes in the global climate
from gases produced by human activity (such as carbon dioxide, CO2)
have any effect on water supplies at all? If so,
what will it be?
Much of this work has been done as part of the pilot Accelerated
Climate Prediction Initiative (ACPI) project, sponsored by the Department of Energy.
Coordinator: Tim P. Barnett, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Co-PIs: Robert Malone, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Bill Pennell, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Bert Semtner, Naval Postgraduate School ; Detlef Stammer, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Warren Washington, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Researchers in the downscaling efforts: Ruby Leung, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Dan Cayan, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Michael Dettinger, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; John Roads, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Tim Brown, Desert Research InstituteACPI Links:
Barnett, T. P., Malone, R., Pennell, W., Stammer, D., Semtner, A., Washington, W., 2002. The Effects of Climate Change on Water Resources in the West: Introduction and Overview. Climatic Change (in review).
Christensen, N.S., Wood, A.W., Lettenmaier, D.P. and R.N. Palmer, 2002. Effects of Climate Change on the Hydrology and Water Resources of the Colorado River Basin. Climatic Change (in revision).
Knowles, N. and Cayan, D. R., 2002. Potential effects of global warming on the Sacramento/San Joaquin watershed and the San Francisco estuary Geophys. Res. Let., v. 29, no. 18, 1891, doi:10.1029/2001GL014339.
Payne, J.T., A.W. Wood, A.F. Hamlet, R.N. Palmer, and D.P. Lettenmaier, 2002. Mitigating the effects of climate change on the water resources of the Columbia River basin. Climatic Change (accepted with revision).
Pierce, D.W., 2002. Future changes in biological activity in the North Pacific due to anthropogenic forcing. Climatic Change (in review).
Van Rheenen,N.T., A.W. Wood, R.N. Palmer and D.P. Lettenmaier, 2002. Potential Implications of PCM Climate Change Scenarios for Sacramento - San Joaquin River Basin Hydrology and Water Resources. Climatic Change (accepted with revision). text figures