Pennsylvania's valuable water resources would also be affected by changes in precipitation, temperature, humidity, wind, and sunshine. Changes in stream flow tend to coincide with changes in precipitation. Water resources in drier climates are more sensitive to climate changes. Because evaporation often increases with the onset of a warmer climate, the result could be lower river flow and lower lake levels, especially in the summer. If this happens, groundwa-ter will consequently be reduced. In addition, a rise in precipitation could lead to increased flooding. Pennsylvania's Susquehanna River drains much of the eastern two-thirds of the state, and the Allegheny and the upper Ohio rivers drain most of the western third. A warmer climate would lead to earlier spring snowmelt, and could result in higher stream flows in winter and spring and lower stream flows in summer and fall. However, changes in rainfall also could have significant effects on stream flow and runoff. This alerts many Pennsylvanians because some of the most intense flooding on record in the United States has occurred in Pennsylvania.
SEE ALSO: Diseases; Floods; Penn State University; Rainfall Patterns.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. D.I. Benn and D.J.A. Evans, Glaciers and Glaciations (Wiley, 1998); Clean Air Council, www.cleanair. org (cited July 2007); "Climate Change and Pennsylvania," Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov (cited July 2007); "Global Warming and Pennsylvania" National Wildlife Fund, www.nwf.org (cited July 2007); Johannes Oer-lemans, Glaciers and Climate Change (Balkema, 2001); Penn Environment, www.pennenvironment.org (cited July 2007).
Arthur Matthew Holst Widener University
Was this article helpful?