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Understanding Extreme Climate Events in the North Central U.S.

Regional Extreme Climate Events: Gaining Understanding through Past and Present Observations and Modeling


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The climate of the North Central U.S. is driven by a combination of factors, including atmospheric circulation patterns, the region’s complex topography which extends from the High Rockies to the Great Plains, and variations in hydrology. Together, these factors determine the sustainability of the region’s ecosystems and the services that they provide communities. In order to understand the vulnerability of the region’s ecosystems to change, it is necessary to have reliable projections of future climate conditions. To address this need, researchers first examined past and present variations in climate and assessed the ability of climate models to effectively project future climate conditions for the region. Second, researchers used [...]

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“Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge, CO - Credit: Theo Stein, USFWS”
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Climate in the North-Central U.S. is driven by a combination of factors, such as patterns in atmospheric circulation and geographic variations in hydrology, that determine the sustainability of ecosystems in the region as well as the goods and services they provide. This research activity will use a diverse set of region-specific approaches to evaluate efficacy of climate model simulations, provide interpretation of climate change mechanisms, and advance understanding of the relationship between climate, ecosystems, and species of interest. The project aims to 1) develop a model to examine past and present climate variations and assess the ability of climate models to effectively make future climate projections, 2) provide a region-wide evaluation of changes in water flow, and 3) provide climate information to ecosystems scientists, universities, and stakeholders for targeted ecosystem studies.

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