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The sedimentary record of Lake Gosiute, a lake that existed in southwestern Wyoming during the Eocene, contains evidence for lake level fluctuations thought to be caused by the earth's precession cycle. However, it is not clear how the effects of these orbital variations were transferred through the climate system and into the sedimentary record. We carry out a series of experiments using a general circulation model (GCM), a lake energy balance model and a lake water balance model to better understand the processes by which these orbital variations could have altered lake evaporation, on-lake precipitation and runoff from the lake's catchment. GCM simulations indicate significant differences in surface incident...
In the western United States, more than 79 000 km2 has been converted to irrigated agriculture and urban areas. These changes have the potential to alter surface temperature by modifying the energy budget at the land–atmosphere interface. This study reports the seasonally varying temperature responses of four regional climate models (RCMs) – RSM, RegCM3, MM5-CLM3, and DRCM – to conversion of potential natural vegetation to modern land-cover and land-use over a 1-year period. Three of the RCMs supplemented soil moisture, producing large decreases in the August mean (− 1.4 to − 3.1 °C) and maximum (− 2.9 to − 6.1 °C) 2-m air temperatures where natural vegetation was converted to irrigated agriculture. Conversion to...