1International Arctic Research Center and Institute of Northern
Engineering, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775, USA
2Department of Environment & Sustainability, Western State Colorado
University, Gunnison, Colorado 81231, USA
3Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, University of Alaska
Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775, USA
4Earth System Research Laboratory-Physical Sciences Division, National
Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado 80305, USA
5International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks,
Fairbanks, Alaska 99775, USA
6National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration-National Marine
Fisheries Service, Juneau, Alaska 99801, USA
Received: 11 Apr 2016 – Discussion started: 24 May 2016
Abstract. Unlike much of the contiguous United States, new hydropower development continues in the Far North, where climate models project precipitation will likely increase over the next century. Regional complexities in the Arctic and sub-Arctic, such as glacier recession and permafrost thaw, however, introduce uncertainties about the hydrologic responses to climate change that impact water resource management. This work reviews hydroclimate changes in the Far North and their impacts on hydropower; it provides a template for application of current techniques for prediction and estimating uncertainty, and it describes best practices for integrating science into management and decision-making. The growing number of studies on hydrologic impacts suggests that information resulting from climate change science has matured enough that it can and should be integrated into hydropower scoping, design, and management. Continuing to ignore the best available information in lieu of status quo planning is likely to prove costly to society in the long term.
Revised: 04 Nov 2016 – Accepted: 27 Nov 2016 – Published: 09 Jan 2017
Cherry, J. E., Knapp, C., Trainor, S., Ray, A. J., Tedesche, M., and Walker, S.: Planning for climate change impacts on hydropower in the Far North, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 133-151, doi:10.5194/hess-21-133-2017, 2017.