Mountain hydroclimates deliver precipitation and aerosols at intervals that are influenced by climate change, including air temperature fluctuations and carbon dioxide (CO2) rise. Variations in precipitation timing, magnitude, and frequency will alter subsequent hydrological partitioning and watershed vegetation–hydro-biogeochemical processes. River corridor networks will exhibit these changes through unique stream signals of salinity, temperature, nitrogen, and other elemental trends, which reflect the aggregated nature of landscape changes. Because streams are amalgamations of these interacting and bidirectional processes, rivers will be critical indicators of landscape change. Additionally, in response to biogeochemical change, river corridors and landscape soils will release CO2 emissions back into the atmosphere, which is a direct feedback effect to climate change.
Courtesy Oak Ridge National Laboratory