Event Title

Effects of forecasted climate change on stream temperatures in the Nooksack River Basin

Presentation Abstract

The Nooksack River in northwest Washington State provides valuable habitat for endangered salmon species, as such it is critical to understand how stream temperatures will be affected by forecasted climate change. The Middle and North Forks basins of the Nooksack are high-relief and glaciated, whereas the South Fork is a lower relief rain and snow dominated basin. Due to a moderate Pacific maritime climate, snowpack in the basins is sensitive to temperature increases. Previous modeling studies in the upper Nooksack basins indicate a reduction in snowpack and spring runoff, and a recession of glaciers into the 21st century. How stream temperatures will respond to these changes is unknown. We use the Distributed Hydrology Soil Vegetation Model (DHSVM) coupled with a glacier dynamics model and the River Basin Model (RBM) to simulate hydrology and stream temperature from present to the year 2100. We calibrate the DHSVM and RBM to the three forks in the upper 1550 km2 of the Nooksack basin, which contain an estimated 3400 hectares of glacial ice. We employ observed stream-temperature data collected over the past decade and hydrologic data from the four USGS streamflow monitoring sites within the basin and observed gridded climate data developed by Linveh et al. (2013). We simulate forecast climate change impacts, using gridded daily downscaled data from global climate models of the CMIP5 with RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 forcing scenarios developed using the multivariate adaptive constructed analogs method (MACA; Abatzoglou and Brown, 2011). Simulation results project a trending increase in stream temperature as a result of lower snow and glacial melt and higher air temperatures into the 21st century. The lower relief, unglaciated South Fork basin responds more appreciably, producing a high percentage of mean late-summer stream temperatures above 20oC.

Session Title

Posters: Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation, & Research

Conference Track

SSE18: Posters

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE18-19

Start Date

5-4-2018 11:30 AM

End Date

5-4-2018 1:30 PM

Type of Presentation

Poster

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 11:30 AM Apr 5th, 1:30 PM

Effects of forecasted climate change on stream temperatures in the Nooksack River Basin

The Nooksack River in northwest Washington State provides valuable habitat for endangered salmon species, as such it is critical to understand how stream temperatures will be affected by forecasted climate change. The Middle and North Forks basins of the Nooksack are high-relief and glaciated, whereas the South Fork is a lower relief rain and snow dominated basin. Due to a moderate Pacific maritime climate, snowpack in the basins is sensitive to temperature increases. Previous modeling studies in the upper Nooksack basins indicate a reduction in snowpack and spring runoff, and a recession of glaciers into the 21st century. How stream temperatures will respond to these changes is unknown. We use the Distributed Hydrology Soil Vegetation Model (DHSVM) coupled with a glacier dynamics model and the River Basin Model (RBM) to simulate hydrology and stream temperature from present to the year 2100. We calibrate the DHSVM and RBM to the three forks in the upper 1550 km2 of the Nooksack basin, which contain an estimated 3400 hectares of glacial ice. We employ observed stream-temperature data collected over the past decade and hydrologic data from the four USGS streamflow monitoring sites within the basin and observed gridded climate data developed by Linveh et al. (2013). We simulate forecast climate change impacts, using gridded daily downscaled data from global climate models of the CMIP5 with RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 forcing scenarios developed using the multivariate adaptive constructed analogs method (MACA; Abatzoglou and Brown, 2011). Simulation results project a trending increase in stream temperature as a result of lower snow and glacial melt and higher air temperatures into the 21st century. The lower relief, unglaciated South Fork basin responds more appreciably, producing a high percentage of mean late-summer stream temperatures above 20oC.