Research press release


Nature Climate Change

Influence of snow on streams


降雪量が減っても、河川流量に著しい影響は生じないというのがこれまでの考え方だった。今回、Wouter Berghuijsたちは、1948~2001年の米国内の420か所の集水域に対して、水収支の枠組み、つまり、平均蒸発量と平均降水量の比率を適用して、この論点を検討した。その結果、降水量全体における降雪量の割合が増加すると、平均河川流量が増加することが分かった。ただし、その応答レベルは、集水域によってばらつきがあった。


Higher streamflow - the water flow in streams, rivers and other watercourses - is associated with snowfall, reports a paper published online in Nature Climate Change this week. Increased surface temperatures will cause less precipitation in the form of snow, resulting in reduced streamflow.

The impact of decreased snowfall has previously been assumed not to influence streamflow significantly. Wouter Berghuijs and colleagues investigated this by applying a water-balance framework, a ratio of mean evaporation to mean precipitation, to 420 catchment basins in the United States during the period 1948-2001. The authors report that when there is an increase in the fraction of precipitation falling as snow, there is a higher mean streamflow, although the level of response varies between catchments.

These results suggest that further study is needed to understand the impacts of a shift to less snowfall on water availability and to facilitate water resource planning.

doi: 10.1038/nclimate2246


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