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Pervasive alterations to snow-dominated ecosystem functions under climate change

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Title
Pervasive alterations to snow-dominated ecosystem functions under climate change
Author(s)
Wieder, William R.; Kennedy, Daniel; Lehner, Flavio; Musselman, Keith N.; Keith B. Rodgers; Rosenbloom, Nan; Simpson, Isla R.; Ryohei Yamaguchi
Publication Date
2022-07
Journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, v.119, no.30
Publisher
National Academy of Sciences
Abstract
© 2022 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.Climate change projections consistently demonstrate that warming temperatures and dwindling seasonal snowpack will elicit cascading effects on ecosystem function and water resource availability. Despite this consensus, little is known about potential changes in the variability of ecohydrological conditions, which is also required to inform climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. Considering potential changes in ecohydrological variability is critical to evaluating the emergence of trends, assessing the likelihood of extreme events such as floods and droughts, and identifying when tipping points may be reached that fundamentally alter ecohydrological function. Using a single-model Large Ensemble with sophisticated terrestrial ecosystem representation, we characterize projected changes in the mean state and variability of ecohydrological processes in historically snow-dominated regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Widespread snowpack reductions, earlier snowmelt timing, longer growing seasons, drier soils, and increased fire risk are projected for this century under a high-emissions scenario. In addition to these changes in the mean state, increased variability in winter snowmelt will increase growing-season water deficits and increase the stochasticity of runoff. Thus, with warming, declining snowpack loses its dependable buffering capacity so that runoff quantity and timing more closely reflect the episodic characteristics of precipitation. This results in a declining predictability of annual runoff from maximum snow water equivalent, which has critical implications for ecosystem stress and water resource management. Our results suggest that there is a strong likelihood of pervasive alterations to ecohydrological function that may be expected with climate change.
URI
https://pr.ibs.re.kr/handle/8788114/12289
DOI
10.1073/pnas.2202393119
ISSN
0027-8424
Appears in Collections:
Center for Climate Physics(기후물리 연구단) > 1. Journal Papers (저널논문)
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