Anthropogenic influence on the Rhine water temperatures
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
Abstract. River temperature is an important parameter for water quality and an important variable for physical, chemical and biological processes. River water is also used by production facilities as cooling agent. We introduced a new way of calculating a catchment-wide air temperature using a time-lagged and weighed average. Regressing the new air temperature vs. river water temperature, the meteorological influence and the anthropogenic heat input could be studied separately. The new method
... s tested at four monitoring stations (Basel, Worms, Koblenz and Cologne) along the river Rhine and lowered the root mean square error of the regression from 2.37 ∘C (simple average) to 1.02 ∘C. The analysis also showed that the long-term trend (1979–2018) of river water temperature was, next to the increasing air temperature, mostly influenced by decreasing nuclear power production. Short-term changes in timescales < 5 years were connected with changes in industrial production. We found significant positive correlations for the relationship.