As the climate worldwide warms, seasonal river flow peaks decrease.

New Delhi:

In the Northern Hemisphere, reduced snowfall is affecting seasonal river flows, thereby increasing the risk of summer droughts, a new study suggests.

This could threaten water and food security, ecosystems and hydropower generation, the researchers explained.

The team, led by researchers from the University of Bristol in the UK, found that as the planet warms, the snowy regions of the Rocky Mountains in North America, the Alps in Europe, as well as parts of northern Europe are melting prematurely. are

In addition, seasonal streamflow is delayed in low-snow regions as winters become drier and warm-season rainfall occurs later in the year, becoming a more important source of river flow.

Ross Woods, from the University of Bristol and lead author of the study published in the journal Nature Communications, said, “Increased (year-to-year) variability in river flow would imply greater uncertainty in seasonal streamflow patterns. is, which creates challenges for water resources planning and management.” The nature

“Water managers need different strategies to adapt depending on their location,” Woods said. Will be.”

For the study, researchers looked at climate and river flow data for more than 3,000 river basins in the Northern Hemisphere between 1950-2020. For each year, they calculated the amount of precipitation that fell as snow, how that amount changed over time, over time in each season, and over river flow.

The team then compared these values ​​to values ​​observed during two 10-year periods – one with the highest snowfall totals, and the other with the lowest snowfall totals.

As the climate around the world warms, seasonal river flow peaks will decrease, resulting in more uniform river flows throughout the year, the researchers say.

Woods said the timing of river flow and seasonal changes showed greater year-to-year changes with falling snowfall, which means planning for those changes in the future is essential.

Changing trends in seasonal river flows affect the availability of water resources and have “broad implications for ecosystem functioning, food security, and natural hazard management,” Woods said. said

Previous studies have shown that with climate change, snowfall is decreasing, snowpack is shifting and river flows are changing as a result of meltwater.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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