Relative importance of glacier contributions to water supply in a changing climate

TitleRelative importance of glacier contributions to water supply in a changing climate
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsRango A., Martinec J., Roberts R.T.
JournalWorld Resource Review
Date PublishedAugust 8, 2008
ARIS Log Number214341
Keywordsglacier melt, global warming, snowmelt runoff modeling, water resources planning, water supply

The Snowmelt Runoff Model (SRM) was designed for simulation, forecasting, and future assessments, such as the effects of climate change. The most recent version of SRM uses the Microsoft Windows operating system and operates efficiently in the PC environment. A formalized algorithm for assessing the effects of climate change on runoff is included in the model. SRM parameters are predetermined from actual measurements or from hydrological experience and, therefore, calibration is not necessary. This deterministic approach allows the parameters to be altered with regard to a changed future climate. SRM variables of daily temperature, precipitation, and snow covered area are also easily acquired. SRM allows contributions of snow, rain, and glacier ice to be separately computed for a present year and for a future climate-changed year. In basins with a significant glacier melt component, such as the Illecillewaet Basin in British Columbia, as the climate warms, the glacier runoff component increases. Of course, when the glacier volume is depleted to a certain point, the glacier areas will start to decline and the valuable glacier melt component will also be diminished.