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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ADAPTING SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION TO MEET THE CHALLENGES OF A CHANGING CLIMATE

Location: Great Plains Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research Unit

Title: Report on the projected future cliamte of subwatershed WE-38 of Mahantango Creek, PA

Authors
item Garbrecht, Jurgen
item Buda, Anthony
item Busteed, Phillip

Submitted to: Grazinglands Research Laboratory Miscellaneous Publication
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: June 30, 2013
Publication Date: June 30, 2013
Citation: Garbrecht, J.D., Buda, A.R., Busteed, P.R. 2013. Report on the projected future cliamte of subwatershed WE-38 of Mahantango Creek, PA. Grazinglands Research Laboratory Miscellaneous Publication. Available: http://iapreview.ars.usda.gov/main/site_main.htm?modecode=62-18-05-20.

Interpretive Summary: This report is one of several reports that provide technical information on projected climate change at selected ARS experimental watersheds across the continental United States and for three greenhouse gas emission scenarios. The climate change information in this report is for the USDA, ARS Subwatershed WE38 of Mahantango Creek Watershed, Pennsylvania, and serves as the basis for making inferences about potential impacts of climate change on the hydrology, natural resources, and agricultural productivity of the region represented by Subwatershed WE38 of Mahantango Creek Watershed. Based on historical (observed) climate data and climate projections, annual precipitation of the Subwatershed of Mahantango Creek Watershed was expected to slightly increase over the 21st century for the high, middle, and low greenhouse gas emission scenarios studied. Most trends in projected monthly precipitation were not statistically significant. Annual air temperature of the watershed was expected to increase for the three emission scenarios. Average trend of annual air temperature over the 2011-2100 time period was 0.20, 0.35, and 0.48 [oC/dc] for the low, middle, and high emission scenarios, respectively. All trends of projected monthly temperature for time periods 2011-2070 and 2011-2100 were statistically significant. Projected air temperature increases were higher during the warm months of the year (July through October) than during the cool months of the year (November through June). Overall, climate change in east-central Pennsylvania is anticipated to be primarily in the form of a rise in air temperature for all calendar months and an increase in annual precipitation with noteworthy precipitation increases in November through July.

Technical Abstract: This report is one of several reports that provide technical information on projected climate change at selected ARS experimental watersheds across the continental United States and for three greenhouse gas emission scenarios. The report is an attachment to the main report of the multi-location project titled “Estimating impacts of projected climate change on regional water availability and quality, across diverse physiographic regions in the United States, and their associated implications for conservation needs and agricultural productivity”. The projected climate change information in this report is for the USDA, ARS Subwatershed WE38 of Mahantango Creek Watershed, Pennsylvania, and serves as the basis for making inferences about potential impacts of climate change on the hydrology, natural resources, and agricultural productivity of the region represented by Subwatershed WE38 of Mahantango Creek Watershed. Based on historical (observed) climate data and climate projections, annual precipitation of the Subwatershed of Mahantango Creek Watershed was expected to slightly increase over the 21st century for the low, middle, and high greenhouse gas emission scenarios studied. Most trends in projected monthly precipitation were not statistically significant. With regard to the precipitation distribution within a year, precipitation had a tendency to increase slightly from November through July for all three scenarios. Annual air temperature of the watershed was expected to increase for the three emission scenarios. Average trend of annual air temperature over the 2011-2100 time period was 0.20, 0.35, and 0.48 [oC/dc] for the low, middle, and high emission scenarios, respectively. All trends of projected monthly temperature for time periods 2011-2070 and 2011-2100 were statistically significant. The trend for projected monthly air temperature ranged from 0.14 to 0.28 [oC/dc], 0.25 to 0.44 [oC/dc], and 0.39 to 0.56 [oC/dc] for the low, middle and high emission scenarios, respectively. Projected air temperature increases were higher during July through October (warm months of the year) than during the other months (cooler months of the year). Overall, climate change in east-central Pennsylvania is anticipated to be primarily in the form of a rise in air temperature for all calendar months and an increase in annual precipitation with noteworthy precipitation increases in November through July.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014
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