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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:52 AM
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Study offers models for dams to adapt to climate
As the climate warms, there will be less snowpack and it will melt earlier, requiring different schedules to maximize dam operations, Alan Hamlet, a University of Washington research assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering, said Friday from Seattle.

What the projections show for the Pacific Northwest is that as we warm, the region will tend to lose snowpack in the springtime, he said. The result is river flows shift from summer to wintertime. You get an increase in winter flows, decreased and earlier peak (spring) flows and less flow in summertime. It is really coming from the fact there is less snow. Dam operations are not being changed yet. But the simulations are showing how to make the dams better serve the needs of power generation, irrigation, salmon and recreation as the climate changes, said Carolyn Fitzgerald, chief of water management for the Corps of Engineers Seattle District.

This is research that looks at whether this would be an effective way of dealing with potential changes in the runoff pattern, she said. And the approach shows promise.

The simulations are based on long-term climate forecasts from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, with a temperature increases of 3.6 degrees by 2050.

http://theworldlink.com/articles/2010/01/25/news/doc4b5...
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