Climate Change Literature Synthesis Third Edition Now Available


Here’s the release from Reclamation (Peter Soeth):

The third edition of the Literature Synthesis on Climate Change Implications for Water and Environmental Resources from the Bureau of Reclamation is now available. The report offers a summary of recent literature on the current and projected effects of climate change on hydrology and water resources.

It is organized around the five Reclamation regions, which correspond roughly with the Columbia River basin, the Sacramento-San Joaquin River basin, the upper Colorado River basin, the lower Colorado River basin, and the Great Plains.

This report contains information surveyed through 2012. It was assembled by Reclamation and was subjected to external review by staff from each of the five National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments centers located in the western United States.

The information in this report is meant for use in a range of planning studies including environmental impact statements, biological assessments, and feasibility studies. The need for the report was first identified by the multi-agency Climate Change and Water Working Group in 2008. Previous versions were published in 2011 and 2009.

Click here to read the report. Here’s the introduction:

The Bureau of Reclamation’s (Reclamation) mission involves managing water and power systems in an economically efficient and environmentally sensitive manner. Mission requirements often involve conducting planning studies for the longer term, potentially involving proposed system changes (e.g., changes in criteria that would govern operations for the long term, changes in physical system aspects). For these longer-term studies, questions arise on how consideration of climate change might affect the assessment of benefits and costs for the various planning alternatives under evaluation. Such questions may lead to the analytical treatment of climate change implications for the study. However, such analysis would be predicated on a documented understanding that chosen analytical methods and usage of climate change information are consistent with the scientific understanding of climate change and the published scientific and assessment literature.

This report aims to support longer-term planning processes by providing region- specific literature syntheses on what already has been studied regarding climate change implications for Reclamation operations and activities in the 17 Western States. These narratives are meant for potential use in planning documents (e.g., National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA] environmental impact statements, biological assessments under Federal/State Endangered Species Act [ESA], general planning feasibility studies). It is envisioned that this report would be a living document, with literature review and synthesis narratives updated annually to reflect ongoing research developments.

More Reclamation coverage here.

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