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Observed long-term changes in UK river flow patterns: a review

Hannaford, Jamie. 2013 Observed long-term changes in UK river flow patterns: a review. Wallingford, UK, National River Flow Archive, 37pp. (A Climate Change Report Card for Water. Working Technical Paper 2)

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Abstract/Summary

The aim of this paper is to provide a state-of-the-art assessment of the evidence for long-term river flow changes in the UK. This paper necessarily focuses on climate-driven changes in flow, as opposed to capturing changes caused by human influences such as water management practices (e.g. abstraction, discharges, impoundments) or changes in land-use or land management. The paper reviews evidence for changes through the twentieth century, up to the present (2012). However, some consideration is also given to changes earlier than 1900. The focus of the work is on the UK, although a section briefly considers the wider European context. The paper begins with some background on the mechanisms through which climate change may influence river flows, and a description of the data and methods which are commonly used in assessments of hydrological change. The review of the evidence then considers changes in annual and seasonal runoff, high flows and indicators of flooding, low flows and indicators of drought, and river flow trends at the wider European scale. Attribution of observed trends is then discussed, focusing on consistency with observed climate changes, and addressing whether changes can be attributed to anthropogenic warming. Finally, an assessment of confidence in observed changes is made, and knowledge gaps are listed.

Item Type: Publication - Report (UNSPECIFIED)
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 1 - Variability and Change in Water Systems > WA - 1.2 - Quantify variability and departures from natural historical variability in water quality ...
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 1 - Variability and Change in Water Systems > WA - 1.4 - Management and dissemination of freshwaters data
CEH Sections: Boorman (to September 2014)
Funders/Sponsors: LWEC
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Freely available online - access full text via Official URL link
NORA Subject Terms: Hydrology
Meteorology and Climatology
Date made live: 26 Sep 2013 10:45 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/503227

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