The figure(s) below are from 2013 draft US National Climate Assessment.

Rivers Discharge 48-04 - Dai+ 1108

from Dai's "Rivers Discharge, 1948-2004 - Dai 1108".

     Vobs is the river volume, in cubic kilometers per year, at the station indicated.

      bobs is the trend per year over the 1945-2005 period.  Bold is statistically significant.  Negative is decreasing flow trend.


Drought Threatens to Snarl Mississippi River Traffic for 3rd Year 0324

Parched Rivers, Withered Crops Show Dire Impact of Amazon Drought 1123

In Brazil’s Amazon, Rivers Fall to Record Low Levels during Drought 1023

Record-Low Mississippi and Ohio River Levels 1023

Climate Triage Means Some Cold Waters In Warming Great Lakes Won’t Be Saved 1023

Water Levels on the Mississippi River Are Plummeting for 2nd Year in a Row 0923

A Breakthrough Deal to Keep the Colorado River from Going Dry, for Now 0523

The Oceans Are Missing Their Rivers. Dam! 0523

Satellites Show Climate Change Thinning Rivers, Erasing Glaciers 1122

Shrunken Mississippi River Slows US Food Exports When World Needs Them Most 1122

The Mississippi River and Its Tributaries Have Dropped to Record Lows 1022

Battle of the Alps? Water Woes Loom amid Climate Change 1022

The World’s Biggest Source of Clean Energy Is Evaporating Fast 1022

How It Looks as Drought Strangles the Mighty Mississippi 1022

Mighty Mississippi Is So Low, People Are Walking to Tower Rock Island 1022

Mississippi Barge Crisis Set to Deepen as Ohio River Now Sees Backups 1022

Drought, Climate Change Are Drying Up North America’s Bodies of Water 1022

Drifting Toward Disaster - the (2nd) Rio Grande 0922

Could the Drying Up of Europe’s Great Rivers Be the New Normal? 0922

The World’s Rivers, Canals, and Reservoirs Are Turning to Dust 0822

China Drought Causes Yangtze to Dry Up, Sparking Hydropower Shortage 0822

China's Fragile Economy Is Being Hammered by Driest Riverbeds since 1865 - 0822

China’s Record Drought Is Drying Rivers and Feeding Its Coal Habit 0822

Europe’s Rhine River Is on the Brink of Effectively Closing 0822

Source of River Thames Dries Out ‘for 1st Time’ during Drought 0822

The Vanishing Rio Grande – Warming Takes Its Toll 0622

The Paraná River, South America’s Economic Lifeline, Is Shriveling 0921

60% of World’s Rivers Stop Flowing for at Least One Day a Year 0621

Climate Change Is Altering Rivers around the World 0321


River Flows All Across the Globe Are Dropping 1019

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Declining Snow Cover in U.S. Northeast Will Have Major Impacts on Rivers 1120

Australia’s Inland Rivers, Pulse of the Outback, to Be Unrecognizable by 2070 - 0920

Climate Change Has Stolen over a Billion Tons of Water from the Colorado River 0220

The World's Supply of Fresh Water Is in Trouble, as Mountain Ice Vanishes 1219

Thirst Turns to Anger as Australia's Mighty River Runs Dry 1019

1st-Ever Mandatory Water Cutbacks to Start Next Year along the Colorado River 0819

Scientists Warn of Lower Water Supply due to Melting Glaciers after 2060 - 1118

A Hot Drought' - Warming Is Driving Much of the Colorado River's Decline 0918

Catastrophic' Floods Rising on Amazon River 0918

Rising CO2 Is Affecting Freshwater 3 Times Faster than Saltwater 0118

Ganges under Threat from Climate Change 1017

China Diverts 10 Billion Cubic Meters of Water to Arid North, in Massive Project 1017

Tagus River, Spain’s Longest, at Risk of Drying Up Completely 0817

How Climate Change Might Affect the Nile 0817

Billion-Dollar Dams Are Making Water Shortages, Not Solving Them 0617

Western Water Crunch Has Climate Change Fingerprints 0417

Parched Lanzhou, China Plans to Pipe Water 1,000 Km from Russia’s Lake Baikal 0317

Congo Risks 50% Power Drop, due to Low Rainfall, Record Low Congo River 0317

Source of Mekong, Yellow and Yangtze Rivers Drying Up 0317

Global Warming Is Shrinking Colorado River, Vital to 40 Million People 0217

Montana’s Rivers Are Warmer than They Should Be - Bad News for Trout 0716

Wildlife Dying En Masse as South American River Runs Dry 0716

India to ‘Divert Rivers' to Tackle Drought 0516

Lao Hydro Dam to Seriously Affect Vietnam’s Mekong Delta 1214

Clear Skies Could Empty Rivers 1014

Climate Change Reflected in Altered Missouri River Flow, USGS Says 0814

Rio Grande May Hit 40-Year Low 0414

River Thames Breaks January Records for Water Flows 0214

Could Weakening Winds Threaten Pacific Northwest's Mountain Water Supply? 1213

With Tar Sands Development, Growing Concern on Water Use 0813

Russia Evacuates 19,000 from Flooded Far East 0813

Ecologists Link Far East Floods to Global Warming 0813

Warming Bad for Life in Freshwater Lakes and Rivers 0613

Canada's 'Northern Amazon' on the Brink 0613

Climate Change Impact on Stream Flow Varies by Location 0213

Engineers Clear Rocks from Dried Mississippi 1212

Water Piped to Denver Could Ease Stress on River 1212

Mississippi River Drops to 3 Feet 1212

Mississippi River Faces Shipping Freeze as Water Levels Drop 1212

World Rivers Under Siege 1112

Climate Change to Reduce US Southwest Water Supply 0411

Mean Monthly Ganges Discharge 1210.webarc

Earth's Water Cycle is Changing Rapidly 1010

Floods and Mudslides on 3 Continents 0810

Rivers Discharge 48-04 - Dai+ 1108

River Runoff & Evaporate 1202

Climate Change Impact on Stream Flow Varies by Location 0213

     Dai's 1108 graphs above show that flows in the Ganges/Brahmaputra and Mekong Rivers approach zero (8% of peak) during the dry season.  The Indus, Yellow, Salween, and Irawaddy Rivers face similar problems.  All depend heavily on monsoon rains, but during the dry season on meltwater from the Himalayas.  The same can be said, but more weakly, of the Changjiang (Yangtze River).  This makes them vulnerable to running out of water during years when flow is low, or when Himalayn glaciers vanish.

     Flows also are very low (4-8% of peak) in the Yenisey and Lena rivers, during the frozen season.  Flows change more for the Orinoco River between the rainy and dry seasons than they do for the Amazon.  Flows in the Congo and Parana Rivers are not very sensitive to season, and Amazon flows only somewhat more sensitive.

     Typical monthly river basin precipitation and flows for the world's 10 largest rivers, by volume.

Left axis is for flows, right axis for precipitation.

      Year-to-year variability ranges from 6:1 for the Uruguay River and 3:1 for the Mississippi, Niger and Xi Rivers, to 1.4:1 for the Amazon River.  Years with low water flows in some rivers leave them at risk of running dry.

Dai's graphs below show annual discharge into the world's ocean basins.  Discharge into the Arctic Ocean rose, while into the Pacific and Indian Oceans it fell.

River Runoff & Evaporate - Dai 1202 - PDF

from Changing Northeast Climate - UCS 1006, for Northeast US

Section Map: Water