The emergence of changes (shift in CDFs) in natural and regulated river flow regimes across the western United States from simulations driven by multiple climate models and scenarios were compared. Forty percent of Hydrologic Unit Codes 4 (HUC4s) over the western United States might perceive such a shift in seasonal regulated flow earlier than they would have seen in natural flow conditions, although the absolute change is smaller than that under natural conditions. About 10% of the regulated HUC4s see a delay and are therefore less sensitive to climate change. In the spring (MAM), the overall sensitivity tends to decrease as the level of river regulation increases, as expected. However, in the winter (DJF) and summer (JJA) seasons, the sensitivity tends to increase with increasing levels of regulation, with changes in smaller magnitudes than under natural conditions.
J. Hydrometeor., 19, 499–515, doi:10.1175/JHM-D-17-0095.1