Identifying climate-related hydrologic regime change in mountainous, cold-region watersheds
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The watershed response to climate warming in cold regions is a critical area of water resources research because slight changes in temperature can trigger abrupt changes in hydrologic regimes. A regime shift occurs when the cumulative effect of small perturbations causes an abrupt change in system behavior. As mountainous cold regions warm, potential regime shifts include the loss of snow and glaciers, permafrost thaw, and transitioning from snow-dominated to rainfall-dominated streamflow patterns. Cold regions occupy over half of the land area in the northern hemisphere, and encompass a broad ...