Nov 22, 2011

Independent effects of temperature and precipitation on modeled runoff in the conterminous United States

Gregory J. McCabe, David M. Wolock
Water Resources Research
  • Uses a water-balance model to simulate the time series of water-year runoff for 4 km × 4 km grid cells for the conterminous United States during the 1900–2008 period
  • Uses model outputs to examine the separate effects of precipitation and temperature on runoff variability
  • Finds that overall, water-year runoff has increased in the conterminous United States and precipitation has accounted for almost all of the variability in water-year runoff during the past century
  • Finds, in contrast, that temperature effects on runoff have been small for most locations in the United States even during periods when temperatures for most of the United States increased significantly