Global Warming has reduced the Colorado river flows by at least 0.5 million acre-feet. Jonathan Overpeck, Professor of geosciences and of hydrology and atmospheric sciences at the University of Arizona said: “This paper is the first to show the large role that warming temperatures are playing in reducing the flows of the Colorado River.”
He added: “We’re the first to make the case that warming alone could cause Colorado River flow declines of 30 percent by midcentury and over 50 percent by the end of the century if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated.”
Colorado river is facing a reduction of about 2.9 million acre-feet of water per year. As temperatures continue to rise, Colorado River flows will continue to decline. The Colorado River has a length of about 2, 334 km. It runs through seven states in the United States and two states in Mexico.
By the end of this century, the river will suffer a reduction of 55% in volume. This would leave over 41 million Americans living in the area with a water shortage.
The river and its tributaries are controlled by an extensive system of reservoirs and dams. Water loss increases as temperatures rise because plants use more water, and higher temperatures increase evaporative loss from the soil and from the water surface and lengthen the growing season.
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