Climate models project that changes in patterns of temperature and precipitation delivery will be ubiquitous, but how those changes cascade through watersheds is less certain. Indeed, the widespread disconnect between changes in extreme precipitation and extreme streamflow contrasts with model projections and underlies what has been referred to as a “grand challenge” of hydrology. Using CHOSEN (Comprehensive Hydrologic Observatory Sensor Network), we conducted a data-driven analysis of multidimensional hydrologic and climatic extremes. We found that drought and warming likely explain many of the observed changes in streamflow extreme but that wetter extremes arise from more complex phenomena. The talk concludes with a summary of some of the remaining “grand challenges” for understanding drought’s cascading effects on California’s ecosystems.
Speaker: Laurel Larsen, UC Berkeley
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