Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Enhanced Model Better Assesses Impact Of Climate Variability

Date:
June 25, 2001
Source:
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
By adding topographic features to their hydrologic model, researchers at the University of Illinois can better assess the impact of climate variability and global warming on terrestrial systems such as stream ecology, water quality and water resources management.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — By adding topographic features to their hydrologic model, researchers at the University of Illinois can better assess the impact of climate variability and global warming on terrestrial systems such as stream ecology, water quality and water resources management. "Hydrologic models provide an essential link between the physical climate and terrestrial systems," said Praveen Kumar, a UI professor of civil and environmental engineering. "Modeling the terrestrial hydrologic dynamics properly is crucial to predicting the atmospheric dynamics as well as predicting the climate’s impact on terrestrial systems."

The natural unit for the representation of hydrologic processes is a river basin, Kumar said. "By using a large-area, basin-scale model, we can better characterize the variation of moisture distribution between land surface and atmosphere, so we can more effectively study key feedback mechanisms." For their study, Kumar and graduate student Ji Chen combined digital elevation data from the United States Geological Survey along with hydrologic characteristics such as river basin boundaries and drainage networks. Then they added topographic parameters – water table fluctuations and vertical and horizontal ground water transport – to the model. To compare results, they ran the model both with and without these topographic enhancements.

Simulations for the entire North American continent were performed using the International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project datasets for the years 1987 and 1988. The researchers validated their model by comparing model predictions against streamflow data collected by the USGS on rivers such as the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio.

"When run with the enhancements, the model captured both the seasonal and the inter-annual variability quite realistically," Kumar said. "For example, seasonal patterns of streamflow in the tributaries of the Mississippi River basin were consistent with the actual measurements. The model also correctly predicted the winter-spring runoff from the Appalachian mountain range."

Because a severe drought occurred in the Midwest during the summer of 1988, the two-year simulation also provided an opportunity to assess the model’s performance for a dry year as well as for a typical year. The model properly portrayed the impact of the drought through decreased streamflow and increased water table depths within the affected region.

"By incorporating topographic influences into the model, predictions of terrestrial water balance and streamflow were improved significantly," Kumar said. "This provides a much better mechanism for assessing the impact of climate fluctuations on terrestrial hydrology, and for studying the potential consequences of environmental problems."

The researchers described their model in the May 1 issue of the Journal of Climate. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation supported this work.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Enhanced Model Better Assesses Impact Of Climate Variability." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010605075448.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. (2001, June 25). Enhanced Model Better Assesses Impact Of Climate Variability. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010605075448.htm
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Enhanced Model Better Assesses Impact Of Climate Variability." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010605075448.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The United Nations says water is a human right, but should it be free? Detroit has cut off water to residents who can't pay, and the U.N. isn't happy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Suni, a rare northern white rhino at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, died Friday. This, as many media have pointed out, leaves people fearing extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins