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Research / Discovery

The effects of climate change on Western water resources topic on April 14

April 7, 2014

Paul Brooks from the University of Arizona will be discussing What Happens to the Rain (Snow)? Quantifying the Effects of Climate and Land Cover Change on Western Water Resources , April 14, 4-5 p.m. in LSC Room 222. The event is free and open to all.

Paul BrooksConcurrent changes in climate, land cover, and population growth present major challenges to the management of natural resources worldwide.

Pronounced warming and widespread vegetation change in western North America are prime examples of ongoing perturbations that complicate water resource management by pushing coupled human and natural systems outside of the observed range of natural variability.

Focus on three questions

Addressing these challenges requires simultaneous efforts on three questions:

1. How has climate forcing (e.g. temperature, precipitation, radiation) varied in the past and how will it change in the future?

2. How will these changes affect the partitioning of precipitation into water resources for society or ecosystems?, and

3. How can management promote the sustainable use of limited water supplies?

Considerable progress has been made over the last 10 to 15 years on each of these questions, but perhaps the least well understood is question 2, not the least because, like politics, partitioning is local. 

Brooks is professor of hydrology and water resources and director of the NSF Center SAHRA in the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona. His research interests focus on both basic and applied questions of ecosystem structure and function, especially with respect to how changes in terrestrial ecosystems affect surface water quality, especially in high-elevation catchments in Colorado. He recieved his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado.

His lecture is presented by the Colorado Water Institute as part of the the Spring 2014 Interdisciplinary Water Resources Seminar. This year's seminar theme is Humans, Resilience and Water.

For more information, go to the CWI webpage.







Contact: Cooper Heinrichs
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