Vulnerability to Climate Change
The Vulnerability of U.S. Water
Resources to Climate Change
Capitol Hill, Washington DC
Dr. Peter H. Gleick
Pacific Institute, Oakland, California
Revised from May 9, 2011
What Can We Expect for Water from Climate Change?
• A hotter world.
• Mixed changes in precipitation (both by region and time period).
• Dramatic reductions in snowfall and accelerating snowmelt; related changes in runoff timing.
• Rising sea-level with impacts on groundwater quality and coastal/delta ecosystems.
• Accelerating influence on extreme events: including floods and droughts.
Climate Changes are Already Affecting U.S. Water Resources
• More than 10 years ago, the US National Climate Assessment water report concluded that
“The evidence that humans are changing the water cycle of the United States is increasingly compelling.” (National Climate Assessment Water Report, 2000) […]
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