Hydrologic sensitivities of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Basin, California, to global warming
Article first published online: 9 JUL 2010
Copyright 1990 by the American Geophysical Union.
Water Resources Research
Volume 26, Issue 1, pages 69–86, January 1990
How to Cite
1990), Hydrologic sensitivities of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Basin, California, to global warming, Water Resour. Res., 26(1), 69–86, doi:10.1029/WR026i001p00069., and (
- Issue published online: 9 JUL 2010
- Article first published online: 9 JUL 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 JUN 1989
- Manuscript Received: 14 OCT 1988
The hydrologic sensitivities of four medium-sized mountainous catchments in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River basins to long-term global warming were analyzed. The hydrologic response of these catchments, all of which are dominated by spring snowmelt runoff, were simulated by the coupling of the snowmelt and the soil moisture accounting models of the U.S. National Weather Service River Forecast System. In all four catchments the global warming pattern, which was indexed to CO2 doubling scenarios simulated by three (global) general circulation models, produced a major seasonal shift in the snow accumulation pattern. Under the alternative climate scenarios more winter precipitation fell as rain instead of snow, and winter runoff increased while spring snowmelt runoff decreased. In addition, large increases in the annual flood maxima were simulated, primarily due to an increase in rain-on-snow events, with the time of occurrence of many large floods shifting from spring to winter.