According to many experts, water availability and quality will be the main issue for the societies and the environment under climate change; hence it is necessary to improve our understanding of the problems involved. Earlier studies have quantified the climate change for North Dakota, United States, in terms of the changes in the growing season length. The growing season length for the state on an average is said to have increased by 1.2 days per decade from 1879 to 2008, which is a strong evidence for the changing climate. In our study we analyzed this climate change in the precipitation pattern of the state. Average annual precipitation for eight stations in North Dakota was tabulated from 1874 to 2008. Fargo, Bismarck, Minot, Pembina, Williston, Jamestown, Langdon and Dickinson were selected based on the accuracy of data, length of period, and availability with the least missing data since the historical climate records have been recorded for these stations. They also provided a diverse spatial resolution to cover the eight most prime agricultural locations of the state. Prime goal of our research was to calculate the average annual rate of change (trend) in the precipitation for each station since 1874. Each station showed a unique annual precipitation trend. Fargo, Bismarck, Jamestown and Williston showed a negative trend in the annual precipitation while Pembina, Minot, Langdon and Dickinson showed a positive trend in the annual precipitation for the given time period. But on an average for the state as a whole, annual precipitation trend did not show much deviation from the long term average for the time period under study.
|Keywords:||Climate Change, Precipitation, North Dakota|
Phd Student, Department of Natural Resources and Management, North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota, USA
North Dakota State Climatologist, Director of NDAWN and Assistant Professor, North Dakota Agricultural Weather Center, North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota, USA
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