Global warming is expected to lead to a more vigorous hydrological cycle, including more total rainfall and more frequent high intensity rainfall events. Rainfall amounts and intensities increased on average in the United States during the 20th century and, according to climate change models, they are expected to continue to increase during the 21st century. These rainfall changes, along with expected changes in temperature, solar radiation, and atmospheric CO2 concentrations, will have significant impacts on soil erosion rates. The processes involved in the impact of climate change on soil erosion by water are complex, involving changes in rainfall amounts and intensities, number of days of precipitation, ratio of rain to snow, plant biomass production, plant residue decomposition rates, soil microbial activity, evapo-transpiration rates, and shifts in land use necessary to accommodate a new climatic regime. WEPPCAT is a web-based erosion simulation tool that allows for the assessment of changes in erosion rates as a consequence of user-defined climate change scenarios. This tool is based on the USDA-ARS Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) erosion model. It has the capability of taking into account all of the erosion-affecting processes listed above.
This applications has been packaged into a virtual machine. Click to download the WEPPCAT VM.
Contact information:Mark Nearing