As wastewater professionals, the changing climate has significant impacts on our work.
For example, with regards to storm events (i.e. the 25-year storm), projected increases in precipitation will alter the recurrence intervals, meaning that storm magnitudes observed now will be greater in the future (National scale) – this will have important implications on wastewater system design.
Through WSP’s Future Ready initiative, we have studied climate change trends to better understand the increased variability in the climate. We are now observing an increase in land surface temperature, as well as an increase in the heat content of the oceans. This in turn correlates to an increase in water vapour in the atmosphere, and a decline in Arctic ice during the summer months. All of this alters the water cycle; some areas will have more variability in precipitation. We can expect winters will become wetter, with more rain rather than snow, and extreme rainfall events will be twice as common by 2050.
NASA Earth Observatory