2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 288-11
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


RICE, Karen C., USGS and University of Virginia, Department of Environmental Sciences, P.O. Box 400123, Charlottesville, VA 22904 and JASTRAM, John D., U.S. Geological Survey, Virginia Water Science Center, 1730 E Parham Rd, Richmond, VA 23228, kcrice@usgs.gov

Monthly mean air temperature (AT) at 85 sites and instantaneous stream-water temperature (WT) at 129 sites for 1960-2010 were examined for the mid-Atlantic region, USA. Temperature anomalies for two periods, 1961-1985 and 1985-2010, relative to the climate normal period of 1971-2000, indicated that the latter period was statistically significantly warmer than the former for both mean AT and WT. Statistically significant temporal trends across the region of 0.023°C per year for AT and 0.028°C per year for WT were detected using simple linear regression. Sensitivity analyses showed that the irregularly sampled WT data were appropriate for trend analyses, resulting in conservative estimates of trend magnitude. Relations between 190 landscape factors and significant trends in AT-WT relations were examined using principal components analysis. Measures of major dams and deciduous forest were correlated with WT increasing slower than AT, whereas agriculture in the absence of major dams was correlated with WT increasing faster than AT. Increasing WT trends were detected despite increasing trends in streamflow in the northern part of the study area. Continued warming of contributing streams to Chesapeake Bay likely will result in shifts in distributions of aquatic biota and contribute to worsened eutrophic conditions in the bay and its estuaries.
  • GSA_2015_Water Temperature.pdf (1.6 MB)
  • 2014_Rice & Jastram_Climatic Change.pdf (2.5 MB)