Translator Disclaimer
24 August 2015 Impacts of climate change on nutrient losses from the Pike River watershed of southern Québec
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

Gombault, C., Madramootoo, C. A., Michaud, A. R., Beaudin, I., Sottile, M. F., Chikhaoui, M. and Ngwa, F. F. 2015. Impacts of climate change on nutrient losses from the Pike River watershed of southern Québec. Can. J. Soil Sci. 95: 337-358. The impacts of climate change on water quality in the Pike River watershed, an important contributor of nutrient loads into the northern arm of Lake Champlain, were simulated for the time horizon 2041-2070. Four water quality scenarios were simulated using a calibrated version of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) customized to Québec agroclimatic conditions. Three of the scenarios were generated using climate data simulated with the Fourth-generation Canadian Regional Climate Model (CRCM4). The fourth scenario was generated using the climate simulated with the Arpege Regional Climate Model. Potential mean climate-induced changes in sediment, phosphorus, and nitrogen yield projected by these scenarios were then analyzed for the 2050 horizon. In addition, the impacts of the different sources of climate projection uncertainty were assessed by comparing climate model initial conditions, and climate model physical structure effects on the hydrochemical projections. Only one climate scenario projected a significant increase in mean annual total phosphorus [10 metrics tons (t) yr-1 or 14%] and total nitrogen (260 t yr-1 or 17%) loads. However, when shorter time spans (seasonal and monthly scales) were considered, several significant changes were detected, especially in winter. Sediment and nutrient loadings, in winter, were predicted to become three to four times higher than current levels. These increases were attributed to a greater vulnerability of soils to erosion in winter due to the decrease in the snowpack, early onset of spring snowmelt, a greater number of rainfall events, and snowmelt episodes caused by higher winter and spring temperatures.

C. Gombault, C. A. Madramootoo, A. R. Michaud, I. Beaudin, M. F. Sottile, M. Chikhaoui, and F. F. Ngwa "Impacts of climate change on nutrient losses from the Pike River watershed of southern Québec," Canadian Journal of Soil Science 95(4), 337-358, (24 August 2015). https://doi.org/10.1139/CJSS-2014-012
Received: 3 February 2014; Accepted: 1 July 2015; Published: 24 August 2015
JOURNAL ARTICLE
22 PAGES


SHARE
ARTICLE IMPACT
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top