Climate Change and Climate Variability
For decades, scientists, engineers, biologists, hydrologists and resource managers have designed water resources systems assuming that past events were appropriate harbingers of future conditions. The lowest recorded streamflows and the maximum annual peak flows were used as indicators of what to design for and what to expect in the future. Today, as we experience and acknowledge the impacts of climate change, we note “hundred year floods” and “design droughts” occurring with uncommon frequency.
This presentation explores what we can expect to occur to streamflows in the Connecticut River basin as we move into the 21st Century. The presentation begins with a brief explanation of why our climate is changing and evidence for that change. On-going studies of climate change and its impacts on the Connecticut River are presented, including forecasts of changes in our temperatures and precipitation by mid-21st Century. The impacts of these changes on streamflows in the Connecticut River and the related impacts on hydropower and the river’s ecosystems will also be discussed. The changes anticipated in the Connecticut River are then compared to those that we might forecast to occur to rivers globally.
Wednesday, January 4
1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Friday, January 6
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM