Back
 AJCC  Vol.10 No.4 , December 2021
Investigation of Long-Term Climate and Streamflow Patterns in Ontario
Abstract: To develop mitigation and adaptation strategies for undesired consequences of climate change, it is important to understand the changing hydrological and climatological trends in the past few decades. Although the changing climate is a cause of concern for the entire planet, its effects can vary significantly on a regional scale. Canada has experienced a rapid rise in the annual mean surface air temperature in the past decades. The current study aims to investigate trends in monthly mean precipitation, rainfall, snowfall, maximum and minimum temperature, as well as baseflow, surface runoff, and total streamflow values for the province of Ontario, Canada. To the best of the author’s knowledge, a similar study involving rural and urban watersheds, that quantifies the impact of changing climate on temperature and other hydrological processes over a period ranging from 1968 to 2017, has not yet been conducted for Ontario. Man-Kendall trend test was used to analyze trends in the above mentioned climatic and hydrometric parameters for rural and urban watersheds situated in the northern and southern parts of Ontario. The results of this study indicate that the mean monthly minimum temperatures for rural watersheds situated in southern Ontario have increased significantly for the winter and summer months, which may have caused an increase in snowmelt and consequently the streamflow for the winter months in the region. Unlike the watersheds in southern Ontario, the northern watersheds witnessed relatively fewer instances of significant changes in mean monthly temperatures, and in some cases, declining rates have been noted. Similarly, only a few watersheds in the north saw a substantial drop in baseflow over the summer months. For nearly all the months, the average monthly minimum and maximum temperatures were found to increase for urban watersheds. The streamflow, baseflow, and surface runoff increased, likely due to rapid urbanization, resulting in a lower infiltration rate. These results will contribute towards the decision-making processes and development of alternate water management policies within the province, taking into account the regional variations in climate change’s impact on the hydrology of Ontario’s watersheds.
Cite this paper: Azarkhish, A. , Rudra, R. , Daggupati, P. , Dhiman, J. , Dickinson, T. and Goel, P. (2021) Investigation of Long-Term Climate and Streamflow Patterns in Ontario. American Journal of Climate Change, 10, 467-489. doi: 10.4236/ajcc.2021.104024.
References

[1]   ACIA (Arctic Climate Impact Assessment) (2005). Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. Cambridge University Press.

[2]   AMAP-SWIPA (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme-Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic) (2011). SWIPA 2011 Executive Summary: Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic.

[3]   Arnold, J., Allen, P., Muttiah, R., & Bernhardt, G. (1995). Automated Base Flow Separation and Recession Analysis Techniques. Groundwater, 33, 1010-1018.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-6584.1995.tb00046.x

[4]   Barros, V., Field, C., Dokke, D., Mastrandrea, M., Mach, K., Bilir, T. et al. (2014). Climate change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability—Part B: Regional Aspects—Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Cambridge University Press.
https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107415386

[5]   Burn, D. H., & Elnur, M. A. H. (2002). Detection of Hydrologic Trends and Variability. Journal of Hydrology, 255, 107-122.
https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-1694(01)00514-5

[6]   Church, J. A., Clark, P. U., Cazenave, A., Gregory, J. M., Jevrejeva, S., Levermann, A. et al. (2013). Sea Level Change. In T. F. Stocker, D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner et al. (Eds.), Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (pp. 1137-1216). Cambridge University Press.

[7]   Cunderlik, J. M., & Burn, D. H. (2004). Linkages between Regional Trends in Monthly Maximum Flows and Selected Climatic Variables. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 9, 246-256.
https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)1084-0699(2004)9:4(246)

[8]   Cunderlik, J. M., & Ouarda, T. B. (2009). Trends in the Timing and Magnitude of Floods in Canada. Journal of Hydrology, 375, 471-480.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2009.06.050

[9]   Dai, A. (2013). Increasing Drought under Global Warming in Observations and Models. Nature Climate Change, 3, 52-58.
https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1633

[10]   Ehsanzadeh, E., & Adamowski, K. (2007). Detection of Trends in Low Flows across Canada. Canadian Water Resources Journal, 32, 251-264.
https://doi.org/10.4296/cwrj3204251

[11]   Environment and Climate Change Canada (2012). The Hydrometric Network. Environment and Climate Change Canada.
http://www.ec.gc.ca/rhc-wsc/default.asp?lang%20=Enandn=E228B6E8-1

[12]   Fazel-Rastgar, F. (2020). Seasonal Analysis of Atmospheric Changes in Hudson Bay during 1998-2018. American Journal of Climate Change, 9, 100-122.
https://doi.org/10.4236/ajcc.2020.92008

[13]   Hamilton, L. C., & Keim, B. D. (2009). Regional Variation in Perceptions about Climate Change. International Journal of Climatology: A Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 29, 2348-2352.
https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.1930

[14]   Kendall, M. (1975). Rank Correlation Measures (p. 202, 15). Charles Griffin.

[15]   Liu, G., Schwartz, F., & Kim, Y. (2013). Complex Baseflow in Urban Streams: An Example from Central Ohio, USA. Environmental Earth Sciences, 70, 3005-3014.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-013-2358-3

[16]   Lyne, V., & Hollick, M. (1979). Stochastic Time-Variable Rainfall-Runoff Modeling. Paper Presented at the Institute of Engineers Australia National Conference.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-013-2358-3

[17]   Mann, H. B. (1945). Nonparametric Tests against Trend. Econometrica, 13, 245-259.
https://doi.org/10.2307/1907187

[18]   McBean, E., & Motiee, H. (2006). Assessment of Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources? A Case Study of the Great Lakes of North America. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions, 3, 3183-3209.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hessd-3-3183-2006

[19]   Nalley, D., Adamowski, J., & Khalil, B. (2012). Using Discrete Wavelet Transforms to Analyze Trends in Streamflow and Precipitation in Quebec and Ontario (1954-2008). Journal of Hydrology, 475, 204-228.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.09.049

[20]   Nathan, R. J., & McMahon, T. A. (1990). Evaluation of Automated Techniques for Base Flow and Recession Analyses. Water Resources Research, 26, 1465-1473.
https://doi.org/10.1029/WR026i007p01465

[21]   Peterson, T. C., Heim Jr., R. R., Hirsch, R., Kaiser, D. P., Brooks, H., Diffenbaugh, N. S. et al. (2013). Monitoring and Understanding Changes in Heat Waves, Cold Waves, Floods, and Droughts in the United States: State of Knowledge. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 94, 821-834.
https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00066.1

[22]   Rudra, R., Ahmed, I., Khan, A. A., Singh, K. G., Goel, P. K., Khayer, M., & Dickinson, T. (2015). Use of Baseflow Indices to Delineate Baseflow Dominated and Rapid Response Flow Dominated Watersheds. Canadian Biosystems Engineering, 57, 1.1-1.11.
https://doi.org/10.7451/CBE.2015.57.1.1

[23]   Salmi, T., Määttä, A., Anttila, P., Ruoho-Airola, T., & Amnell, T. (2002). Detecting Trends of Annual Values of Atmospheric Pollutants by the Mann-Kendall Test and Sen’s Slope Estimates—The Excel Template Application MAKESENS: Finnish Meteorological Institute, Air Quality Research.

[24]   Shahid, M., & Rahman, K. U. (2021). Identifying the Annual and Seasonal Trends of Hydrological and Climatic Variables in the Indus Basin Pakistan. Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 57, 191-205.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s13143-020-00194-2

[25]   Shahid, M., Cong, Z., & Zhang, D. (2018). Understanding the Impacts of Climate Change and Human Activities on Streamflow: A Case Study of the Soan River Basin, Pakistan. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 134, 205-219.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-017-2269-4

[26]   Upadhyay, R. K. (2020). Markers for Global Climate Change and Its Impact on Social, Biological and Ecological Systems: A Review. American Journal of Climate Change, 9, 159-203.
https://doi.org/10.4236/ajcc.2020.93012

[27]   Vincent, L. A., Wang, X. L., Milewska, E. J., Wan, H., Yang, F., & Swail, V. (2012). A Second Generation of Homogenized Canadian Monthly Surface Air Temperature for Climate Trend Analysis. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 117, Article ID: D18110.
https://doi.org/10.1029/2012JD017859

[28]   Vincent, L., Zhang, X., Brown, R., Feng, Y., Mekis, E., Milewska, E. et al. (2015). Observed Trends in Canada’s Climate and Influence of Low-Frequency Variability Modes. Journal of Climate, 28, 4545-4560.
https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00697.1

[29]   Von Storch, H., & Navarra, A. (1995). Analysis of Climate Variability: Applications of Statistical Techniques. Springer-Verlag.
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-03167-4

[30]   Wang, X., Huang, G., & Liu, J. (2014). Projected Increases in Intensity and Frequency of Rainfall Extremes through a Regional Climate Modeling Approach. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 119, 13271-13286.
https://doi.org/10.1002/2014JD022564

[31]   Wang, X., Huang, G., & Liu, J. (2016). Observed Regional Climatic Changes over Ontario, Canada, in Response to Global Warming. Meteorological Applications, 23, 140-149.
https://doi.org/10.1002/met.1541

[32]   Whitfield, P. H., & Cannon, A. J. (2000). Recent Variations in Climate and Hydrology in Canada. Canadian Water Resources Journal, 25, 19-65.
https://doi.org/10.4296/cwrj2501019

[33]   Zhang, X., Harvey, K. D., Hogg, W., & Yuzyk, T. R. (2001). Trends in Canadian Streamflow. Water Resources Research, 37, 987-998.
https://doi.org/10.1029/2000WR900357

 
 
Top