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Title: Will future climate change increase the risk of violating minimum flow and maximum temperature thresholds below dams in the Pacific Northwest?

Abstract

Detecting and avoiding environmental thresholds that lead to catastrophic change in ecological communities is an important goal, and one that is especially challenging to address over broad geographic extents. Here, we conducted a regional-scale climate vulnerability assessment (RCVA) to quantify the risk of violating thermal and minimum-flow thresholds below reservoirs. Our analysis used hybrid (process-based and empirical) models of tailwater temperature and flow driven by 4-km downscaled CMIP5 climate projections. Downscaling employed a combination of process-based models, quantile mapping, and a non-linear ‘reservoir’ transform function. RCVA can be applied at regional scales without proprietary and data-intensive physical models of reservoir systems or ecological models of species that comprise tailwater communities. Using RCVA, we produced ensemble projections of risk and duration of extreme high-temperature or low-flow events below federal reservoirs in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), USA. Bayesian modeling of simulated results allowed us to evaluate differences between risk under a future and baseline scenario relative to model uncertainties and to quantify uncertainty in modeled risks. Based on assumptions that historical patterns of reservoir dynamics and operation will continue, and that regulatory thresholds will not change, the risk of thermal exceedance was projected to increase by an average of 0.27 and extendmore » into late-spring and fall (average change in duration of 10.3 d). For flow, RCVA projected an increase of 0.07 in the average risk below-thresholds flows, with an average increase in duration of 4.6 d. Here both results raise concerns that cold-water salmonids of the PNW will be at increased risk under a future climate scenario.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ORCiD logo; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind and Water Technologies Office (EE-4W)
OSTI Identifier:
1618157
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1468288
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Climate Risk Management
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Climate Risk Management Journal Volume: 21 Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 2212-0963
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
Niger
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Thresholds; Thermal criteria; Minimum flow; Climate vulnerability assessment; Water standards; Seasonal risk assessment; Duration; Uncertainty

Citation Formats

Jager, Henriette I., King, Anthony W., Gangrade, Sudershan, Haines, Angelina, DeRolph, Christopher, Naz, Bibi S., and Ashfaq, Moetasim. Will future climate change increase the risk of violating minimum flow and maximum temperature thresholds below dams in the Pacific Northwest?. Niger: N. p., 2018. Web. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crm.2018.07.001.
Jager, Henriette I., King, Anthony W., Gangrade, Sudershan, Haines, Angelina, DeRolph, Christopher, Naz, Bibi S., & Ashfaq, Moetasim. Will future climate change increase the risk of violating minimum flow and maximum temperature thresholds below dams in the Pacific Northwest?. Niger. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crm.2018.07.001
Jager, Henriette I., King, Anthony W., Gangrade, Sudershan, Haines, Angelina, DeRolph, Christopher, Naz, Bibi S., and Ashfaq, Moetasim. Sun . "Will future climate change increase the risk of violating minimum flow and maximum temperature thresholds below dams in the Pacific Northwest?". Niger. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crm.2018.07.001.
@article{osti_1618157,
title = {Will future climate change increase the risk of violating minimum flow and maximum temperature thresholds below dams in the Pacific Northwest?},
author = {Jager, Henriette I. and King, Anthony W. and Gangrade, Sudershan and Haines, Angelina and DeRolph, Christopher and Naz, Bibi S. and Ashfaq, Moetasim},
abstractNote = {Detecting and avoiding environmental thresholds that lead to catastrophic change in ecological communities is an important goal, and one that is especially challenging to address over broad geographic extents. Here, we conducted a regional-scale climate vulnerability assessment (RCVA) to quantify the risk of violating thermal and minimum-flow thresholds below reservoirs. Our analysis used hybrid (process-based and empirical) models of tailwater temperature and flow driven by 4-km downscaled CMIP5 climate projections. Downscaling employed a combination of process-based models, quantile mapping, and a non-linear ‘reservoir’ transform function. RCVA can be applied at regional scales without proprietary and data-intensive physical models of reservoir systems or ecological models of species that comprise tailwater communities. Using RCVA, we produced ensemble projections of risk and duration of extreme high-temperature or low-flow events below federal reservoirs in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), USA. Bayesian modeling of simulated results allowed us to evaluate differences between risk under a future and baseline scenario relative to model uncertainties and to quantify uncertainty in modeled risks. Based on assumptions that historical patterns of reservoir dynamics and operation will continue, and that regulatory thresholds will not change, the risk of thermal exceedance was projected to increase by an average of 0.27 and extend into late-spring and fall (average change in duration of 10.3 d). For flow, RCVA projected an increase of 0.07 in the average risk below-thresholds flows, with an average increase in duration of 4.6 d. Here both results raise concerns that cold-water salmonids of the PNW will be at increased risk under a future climate scenario.},
doi = {10.1016/j.crm.2018.07.001},
journal = {Climate Risk Management},
number = C,
volume = 21,
place = {Niger},
year = {2018},
month = {7}
}

Journal Article:
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https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crm.2018.07.001

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