Abstract: Session F 4:10 pm (Back to Session F)
Effects of a Changing Climate on Stream Form and Flow Regimes
Dani Wise Johnson
With monitoring stream channel form and function for twenty years, we have witnessed channel adjustments occurring on both restored and un-restored channels due to changes in storm frequency and intensity in the Southeast. As our climate is changing, it is challenging, if not impossible to quantify the degree of alteration expected in rainfall patterns across the country. It may be possible, however, to examine data collected over the past 5-30 years to see trends and incorporate this information into restoration design, as well as planning, and as an indicator for areas that may experience habitat
degradation more severely. Channel adjustments documented with the changing rainfall patterns appear to be akin to effects on channels during urbanization. Studies have been conducted examining both urbanization and climate change in specific areas, and the effects of both with regards to flooding and water quality are detrimental across the board. It is critical that our changing climate is taken into account in restoration design calculations and incorporated in stormwater management practices, many of which are already behind the curve on protecting structures and citizens from catastrophic flooding events.