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D &/I ~~nat~a',

By G Sun, R W Skaggs, G M ~hescheir and J E Flettles


A simulation study using a watershed scale forest hydrology model (DRAINWAT) was conducted to evaluate potential effects of climate change on the hydrology of a 3,000 ha managed plne forest in coastal North Carolina. The model was first validated with a five-year (1996-2000) data set fro111 the study site and then run with 50-years (1951-00) of historic weather data from Plymouth, NC to determine the long-term hydrology. Later, separate sinlulations were conducted with 2001-2025 climate change data sets projected by two existing Global Circulation Models (GCM), Canadian Climate Change (CGC1) and the British nlodel (f-ladCM2). The predicted average annual outflow of 308 mm for the 1996-00 study period (average a~lnual rainfall (AAR) of 1232 mm) was 15 % lower than the average of 362 n11n for the 195 1-00 period (AAR = 1288 min). Simuiation results using 200 1-25 climate data projected by the CGC 1 model yielded a significantly (p<0.0001) lower average outflow (167 mm) compared to 380 Inm for the HadCM2. This indicates that the CGC1 model (AAK =- 1129 mm) predicted much drier conditions (14 % runoff coefficient) and the HadCM2 (AAR-: 1358 111111, n~nof'f coefficient = 27%) predicted only 5 % higher (p'0.5) outflow than the 50 year historic data sl~owed. Interestingly, the distribution of runoff coefficients for the HadCM2 was almost the same as that for the historic data, indicating minor potential effect of this climate change scenario on drainage. Both the GCM climate scenarios predicted significantly (pc0.005) l~igher ET than the historic. Water table depth is predicted deeper by the CGC 1 nlocfel due to lower precipitation input and higher ET. However, the clitnate changes even under a drier and hotter scenario may not have significantly reduced tree water use although drainage may have been reduced greatly. The ET predicted by the HadCM2 (1008 mm) and CGC 1 (1 02 1 mm) were slnsilar, indicating the increase in temperature predicted by the CGC 1 model has less of an effect on the soil moisture limiting the tree growth than the increased rainfall predicted by HadCM2

Topics: Outflow, E'f, Watershed-scale Models, DRAINWAT
Year: 2014
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