Submitted to: International Soil Conservation Organization Conference Abstracts
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Based on climate records, average global temperatures at the earth's surface are rising. Since global records began in the mid-19th century, the five warmest years have occurred during the 1990s and ten of the eleven warmest years have occurred since. Based on a range of several current climate models, the mean annual global surface temperature is projected to increase by 1 degree to 3.5 degrees C by the year 2100 and there will be changes in the spatial and temporal patterns of precipitation. This study looks at the potential effects of precipitation changes in the United States, including parts of southern Canada and Northern Mexico, on rainfall erosivity. Results of Global Circulation Models from the Hadley Center in Reading, UK and the Canadian Climate Center for the period 2001 to 2100 are used. Changes in erosivity were estimated based on relationships between erosivity and both the modified Fournier coefficient and total annual rainfall, as developed by Renard et al. for the RUSLE model for weather station data in the United States. Results show the potential for significant, and in some cases very large, changes in erosivity over the next century. Results also point out both significant differences in some areas and significant similarities in other areas of the US.