Paper No. J05097 of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA).
Associations of Decadal to Multidecadal Sea-Surface Temperature Variability with Upper Colorado River Flow1
Article first published online: 12 FEB 2007
© 2007 American Water Resources Association
JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume 43, Issue 1, pages 183–192, February 2007
How to Cite
McCabe, G. J., Betancourt, J. L. and Hidalgo, H. G. (2007), Associations of Decadal to Multidecadal Sea-Surface Temperature Variability with Upper Colorado River Flow. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 43: 183–192. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2007.00015.x
- Issue published online: 12 FEB 2007
- Article first published online: 12 FEB 2007
- Received July 13, 2005; accepted March 23, 2006.
- Colorado River;
- Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation;
- decadal variability
Abstract: The relations of decadal to multidecadal (D2M) variability in global sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) with D2M variability in the flow of the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB) are examined for the years 1906-2003. Results indicate that D2M variability of SSTs in the North Atlantic, North Pacific, tropical Pacific, and Indian Oceans is associated with D2M variability of the UCRB. A principal components analysis (with varimax rotation) of detrended and 11-year smoothed global SSTs indicates that the two leading rotated principal components (RPCs) explain 56% of the variability in the transformed SST data. The first RPC (RPC1) strongly reflects variability associated with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and the second RPC (RPC2) represents variability of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the tropical Pacific Ocean, and Indian Ocean SSTs. Results indicate that SSTs in the North Atlantic Ocean (RPC1) explain as much of the D2M variability in global SSTs as does the combination of Indian and Pacific Ocean variability (RPC2). These results suggest that SSTs in all of the oceans have some relation with flow of the UCRB, but the North Atlantic may have the strongest and most consistent association on D2M time scales. Hydroclimatic persistence on these time scales introduces significant nonstationarity in mean annual streamflow, with critical implications for UCRB water resource management.