Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Earth Science News .




WATER WORLD
Dams provide resilience to Columbia from climate change impacts
by Staff Writers
Corvallis OR (SPX) Oct 02, 2013


File image.

Dams have been vilified for detrimental effects to water quality and fish passage, but a new study suggests that these structures provide "ecological and engineering resilience" to climate change in the Columbia River basin.

The study, which was published in the Canadian journal Atmosphere-Ocean, looked at the effects of climate warming on stream flow in the headwaters and downstream reaches of seven sub-basins of the Columbia River from 1950 to 2010. The researchers found that the peak of the annual snowmelt runoff has shifted to a few days earlier, but the downstream impacts were negligible because reservoir management counteracts these effects.

"The dams are doing what they are supposed to do, which is to use engineering - and management - to buffer us from climate variability and climate warming," said Julia Jones, an Oregon State University hydrologist and co-author on the study. "The climate change signals that people have expected in stream flow haven't been evident in the Columbia River basin because of the dams and reservoir management. That may not be the case elsewhere, however."

The study is one of several published in a special edition of the journal, which examines the iconic river as the United States and Canada begin a formal 10-year review of the Columbia River water management treaty in 2014. The treaty expires in 2024.

Jones said the net effect of reservoir management is to reduce amplitude of water flow variance by containing water upstream during peak flows for flood control, or augmenting low flows in late summer. While authorized primarily for flood control, reservoir management also considers water release strategies for fish migration, hydropower, ship navigation and recreation.

These social forces, as well as climate change impacts, have the potential to create more variability in river flow, but the decades-long hydrograph chart of the Columbia River is stable because of the dams, said Jones, who is on the faculty of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at OSU.

"The climate change signal on stream flow that we would expect to see is apparent in the headwaters," she said, "but not downstream. Historically, flow management in the Columbia River basin has focused on the timing of water flows and so far, despite debates about reservoir management, water scarcity has not been as prominent an issue in the Columbia basin as it has elsewhere, such as the Klamath basin."

The study, which was funded by the National Science Foundation's support to the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, looked at seven sub-basins of the Columbia River, as well as the main stem of the Columbia. These river systems included the Bruneau, Entiat, Snake, Pend Oreille, Priest, Salmon and Willamette rivers.

"One of the advantages of having a long-term research programs like H.J. Andrews is that you have detailed measurements over long periods of time that can tell you a lot about how climate is changing," Jones pointed out. "In the case of the Columbia River - especially downstream - the impacts haven't been as daunting as some people initially feared because of the engineering component.

"Will that be the case in the future?" she added. "It's possible, but hard to predict. Whether we see a strong climate change signal producing water shortages in the Columbia River will depend on the interplay of social forces and climate change over the next several decades."

Also co-author on the study is Kendra Hatcher, a graduate student in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, who studied under Jones.

.


Related Links
College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at OSU.
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





WATER WORLD
Malaysian natives protest as dam begins to fill
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) Sept 23, 2013
A state-linked Malaysian energy firm said Monday it had begun filling the reservoir behind a controversial dam as a group of angry tribespeople protested. Some 100 Penan tribespeople from seven villages set up a blockade last week on the only road to the remote, $1.3 billion Murum dam on Borneo island in the state of Sarawak, activists said. "More than 100 Penans have set up a human blo ... read more


WATER WORLD
Satellite flood maps reach crisis teams via Internet

US banks $584 mln in Egypt aid for safe-keeping

China launches satellite to monitor natural disaster

Australia and Indonesia hold conciliatory discussions

WATER WORLD
Bright, laser-based lighting devices

S. Korean steel plant in India could displace 22,000, says UN

New sensor could prolong the lifespan of high-temperature engines

Paradigm shift: Need something in space? Print it, don't ship it

WATER WORLD
Scientists warn of 'deadly trio' risk to ailing oceans

Dams provide resilience to Columbia from climate change impacts

South Atlantic fish resources at risk from warmer climate

Pacific's Palau mulls drone patrols to monitor waters

WATER WORLD
Largest ice mass in California's Yosemite park melting, disappearing

Europe's top court rejects Inuit appeal against seal fur ban

Traces of immense prehistoric ice sheets: the climate history of the Arctic Ocean needs to be rewritten

Warming hits Greenland's caribou

WATER WORLD
Understanding soil nitrogen management using synchrotron technology

Protecting the weedy and wild kin of globally important crops

Hotpots and snake blood: Asia's libido-boosting foods

Farmers need help to plow through new food safety regulations

WATER WORLD
Pakistan quake death toll rises to 376

Disaster officials warn New Orleans, Gulf coast over storm Karen

Five dead as Typhoon Wutip batters Vietnam

Tropical Storm Jerry forms in Atlantic

WATER WORLD
Nigeria bombs Boko Haram 'camp' near site of massacre

Canada reinforces African Union forces in Somalia

Disgruntled Malian troops fire weapons, kidnap officer

Ugandan officers court-martialed over alleged coup plot

WATER WORLD
Einstein's genius put down to 'well-connected' brain halves

Roma families face wholesale expulsion from France

Genetic study pushes back timeline for first significant human population expansion

Your brain digitally remastered for clarity of thought




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement