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Southwest CASC

Abstract (from AGU 100): This study investigates snowmelt and streamflow responses to cloudiness variability across the mountainous parts of the western United States. Twenty years (1996–2015) of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite‐derived cloud cover indices (CC) with 4‐km spatial and daily temporal resolutions are used as a proxy for cloudiness. The primary driver of nonseasonal fluctuations in daily mean solar insolation is the fluctuating cloudiness. We find that CC fluctuations are related to snowmelt and snow‐fed streamflow fluctuations, to some extent (correlations of <0.5). Multivariate linear regression models of daily snowmelt (MELT) and streamflow (ΔQ) variations are constructed for each...
Natural climate variability can strongly temporarily enhance or obscure long-term trends in regional weather due to global climate change. We planned to explore (from our original proposal): (1) The influence of low frequency climate variability (interannual and decadal) on the seasonal probability distributions of daily weather (temperature and precipitation) within the Southwest, with a view on how natural variability modulates regional trends due to global warming. We explored natural climate variability and its impacts on extreme temperatures in Guirguis et al. (2015). We also explored natural climate variability and its impacts on precipitation extremes in Cavanaugh et al. (2015), Cavanugh and Gershunov (2015)...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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Drought and wildfire pose enormous threats to the integrity of natural resources that land managers are charged with protecting. Recent observations and modeling forecasts indicate that these stressors will likely produce catastrophic ecosystem transformations, or abrupt changes in the condition of plants, wildlife, and their habitats, in regions across the country in coming decades. In this project, researchers will bring together land managers who have experienced various degrees of ecosystem transformation (from not yet experiencing any changes to seeing large changes across the lands they manage) to share their perspectives on how to mitigate large-scale changes in land condition. The team will conduct surveys...
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The 2017 fire season in California was highly unusual with its late seasonal timing, the areal extent it burned, and its devastation to communities. These fires were associated with extreme winds and were potentially also influenced by unusually dry conditions during several years leading up to the 2017 events. This fire season brought additional attention and emphasized the vital need for managers in the western U.S. to have access to scientific information on when and where to expect dangerous fire events. Understanding the multiple factors that cause extreme wildfire events is critical to short and long-term forecasting and planning. Seasonal climate measures such as temperature and precipitation are commonly...
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Abstract Coastal marsh within Mediterranean climate zones is exposed to episodic watershed runoff and sediment loads that occur during storm events. Simulating future marsh accretion under sea level rise calls for attention to: (a) physical processes acting over the time scale of storm events and (b) biophysical processes acting over time scales longer than storm events. Using the upper Newport Bay in Southern California as a case study, we examine the influence of event-scale processes on simulated change in marsh topography by comparing: (a) a biophysical model that integrates with an annual time step and neglects event-scale processes (BP-Annual), (b) a physical model that resolves event-scale processes but...
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