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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Effects of Climate Change on Sediment and Chemical Losses under Agricultural and Forest Management Scenarios

Location: National Soil Erosion Research Lab

Project Number: 3602-12130-001-12
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 01, 2013
End Date: Jul 31, 2015

Objective:
1. To obtain downscaled Global Environmental Model (GEM) climate data for use in natural resource modeling of locations in Indiana, Georgia, Nevada, California, and others as needed; 2.) To conduct simulations of runoff, soil erosion, and sediment losses with the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model for selected fields and watersheds; 3) To examine the effects of projected climate change on predicted runoff, erosion, sediment losses, and chemical under future climate scenarios.

Approach:
The project involves development and organization of spatial soil, management, topographic, and climatic input databases for use with the WEPP model, simulations with the model, and evaluation of existing and alternative agricultural and forest management practices. Projected climate (temperatures, precipitation) ~50 years into the future will be obtained using the Pattern Scaling MarkSim procedure, developed by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, for NSERL field and watershed sites in northeastern Indiana, for Forest Service projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin in California and Nevada, and for other sites in Georgia and Colorado. These data sets will be used to modify CLIGEN (CLImate GENerator) parameter files, in order to subsequently build WEPP climate input files representing the future climate at the locations. WEPP model simulations will then be conducted for the sites using existing climate and land management, and projected future climate and existing land management. Impacts of changes to land management and use of best management practices (BMPs) will be examined with current and future climate, to determine if BMPs will remain effective under changed climate. Additionally, if versions of WEPP become available that allow evaluation of water quality, similar evaluations will be conducted to determine impacts of climate change and land management on predicted losses of nutrients (phosphorus and/or nitrogen) and pesticides.

Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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