BSU study: Warming climates could cause more flooding in Treasure Valley

BSU study: Warming climates could cause more flooding in Treasure Valley

BSU study: Warming climates could cause more flooding in Treasure Valley

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by Jacqueline Quynh

KING5.com

Posted on June 8, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 1:50 PM

BOISE -- Boise has already had two record setting days in 2012 for the hottest on record, and we also broke the record for the hottest day at the earliest time of the year.  Researchers at Boise State University say it's a sign that the climate is getting warmer.

A study released last month by environmental researchers at BSU predicts we will have more significant floods as the climate warms.  Dr. Venkat Sridhar is one of the researchers of that study.  He says we've seen flooding along the Greenbelt earlier than usual due to the warmer temperatures.

Dr. Sridhar says temperatures have been rising for the past three decades.  His research projects that temperatures will climb about half a degree each decade for the next 50 years.  If this happens, snow will melt a lot earlier in the winter.  This means the water from the snow will not seep down into the underground aquifer, and will instead run off into our streams and rivers.

"That will also decrease the recharge effects, less time for percolation inside the ground that means that's gonna go outside, more flow outside, and that'll have an effect on flooding." said Dr. Sridhar.

He also says less water in the ground could impact people who depend on the resource -- such as farmers.  Warmer temperatures could also impact wildlife habitats in the area.

Sridhar says it will be up to flood control managers to prepare and possibly find ways to deal with these problems.

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