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Title: Warming of the lower Columbia River , 1853 to 2018
Abstract

Water temperature is a critical ecological indicator; however, few studies have statistically modeled century‐scale trends in riverine or estuarine water temperature, or their cause. Here, we recover, digitize, and analyze archival temperature measurements from the 1850s onward to investigate how and why water temperatures in the lower Columbia River are changing. To infill data gaps and explore changes, we develop regression models of daily historical Columbia River water temperature using time‐lagged river flow and air temperature as the independent variables. Models were developed for three time periods (mid‐19th, mid‐20th, and early 21st century), using archival and modern measurements (1854–1876; 1938–present). Daily and monthly averaged root‐mean‐square errors overall are 0.89°C and 0.77°C, respectively for the 1938–2018 period. Results suggest that annual averaged water temperature increased by 2.2°C ± 0.2°C since the 1850s, a rate of 1.3°C ± 0.1°C/century. Increased water temperatures are seasonally dependent. An increase of approximately 2.0°C ± 0.2°C/century occurs in the July–Dec time‐frame, while springtime trends are statistically insignificant. Rising temperatures change the probability of exceeding ecologically important thresholds; since the 1850s, the number of days with water temperatures over 20°C increased from ~5 to 60 per year, while the number below 2°C decreased from ~10 to 0 days/per year. Overall, the modern system is warmer, but exhibits less temperature variability. The reservoir system reduces sensitivity to short‐term atmospheric forcing. Statistical experiments within our modeling framework suggest that increased water temperature is driven by warming air temperatures (~29%), altered river flow (~14%), and water resources management (~57%).

 
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NSF-PAR ID:
10433311
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
River Research and Applications
Volume:
39
Issue:
9
ISSN:
1535-1459
Format(s):
Medium: X Size: p. 1828-1845
Size(s):
["p. 1828-1845"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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Variate    Description year    year of the observation method    methods of poplar biomass sampling date    day of the observation (mm/dd/yyyy) replicate    each crop has four replicated plots, R1, R2, R3 and R4 diameter_at_ground    poplar diameter (milliMeter) at the ground diameter_at_15cm    poplar diameter (milliMeter) at 15 cm height biomass_tree    biomass per plot (Grams_Per_Tree) biomass_ha    biomass (megaGrams_Per_Hectare) by multiplying biomass per tree with 0.01 4. Spreadsheet: annual N leaching_vol-wtd conc Description: Annual leaching rate (kiloGrams_N_Per_Hectare) and volume-weighted mean N concentrations (milliGrams_N_Per_Liter) of nitrate (no3) and dissolved organic nitrogen (don) in the leachate samples collected from corn, switchgrass, miscanthus, native grass, restored prairie and poplar plots in Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) Biomass Cropping System Experiment (BCSE) during 2009-2016. Data for nitrogen leached and volume-wtd mean N concentration shown in Figure 3a and Figure 3b, respectively. Note that ammonium (nh4) concentration were much lower and often undetectable (<0.07 milliGrams_N_Per_Liter). Also note that in 2009 and 2010 crop-years, data from some replicates are missing.    Variate    Description crop    “corn” “switchgrass” “miscanthus” “nativegrass” “restored prairie” “poplar” crop-year    year of the observation replicate    each crop has four replicated plots, R1, R2, R3 and R4 no3 leached    annual leaching rates of nitrate (kiloGrams_N_Per_Hectare) don leached    annual leaching rates of don (kiloGrams_N_Per_Hectare) vol-wtd no3 conc.    Volume-weighted mean no3 concentration (milliGrams_N_Per_Liter) vol-wtd don conc.    Volume-weighted mean don concentration (milliGrams_N_Per_Liter) 5. 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Variate    Description crop    “corn” “switchgrass” “miscanthus” “nativegrass” “restored prairie” “poplar” date    date of the observation (mm/dd/yyyy) replicate    each crop has four replicated plots, R1, R2, R3 and R4 nh4 conc    nh4 concentration (milliGrams_N_Per_Liter) no3 conc    no3 concentration (milliGrams_N_Per_Liter)   9. Spreadsheet: correlations_don VS no3_doc VS don Description: Correlations of don and nitrate concentrations (milliGrams_N_Per_Liter); and doc (milliGrams_Per_Liter) and don concentrations (milliGrams_N_Per_Liter) in the leachate samples of corn, switchgrass, miscanthus, native grass, restored prairie and poplar plots in Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) Biomass Cropping System Experiment (BCSE) during 2013-2015. Data of correlation of don and nitrate concentrations shown in Figure S4 a and doc and don concentrations shown in Figure S4 b. 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