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The Colorado River is the dominant water source for the southwestern United States, crossing through seven states before reaching Mexico. The river supplies water to approximately 36 million people, irrigates nearly six million acres of farmland within and beyond the basin, and contributes an estimated 26 billion dollars each year to the region’s recreational economy. Yet the Colorado River’s water supply is already fully allocated, meaning that the economic and environmental health of the region is closely tied to the river’s streamflow. Climate projections for the Southwest show a future marked by chronic drought and substantial reductions in streamflow. The region has already been impacted by climate change,...
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To understand potential climate change impacts on ecosystems, water resources, and numerous other natural and managed resources, climate change data and projections must be downscaled from coarse global climate models to much finer resolutions and more applicable formats. This project conducted comparative analyses to better understand the accuracy and properties of these downscaled climate simulations and climate-change projections. Interpretation, guidance and evaluation, including measures of uncertainties, strengths and weaknesses of the different methodologies for each simulation, can enable potential users with the necessary information to select and apply the models.
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Fire in the western U.S. poses one of the greatest threats to human and ecological communities alike. In fact, fire management is the largest single expenditure of land management funds on federal lands. Now, climate change is altering wildfire patterns. Climate change in the West is creating warmer and drier conditions, resulting in an increase in the amount of dead vegetation available to fuel fires. This project sought to assess the vulnerability of forests in the southwestern U.S. to climate change and wildfire, in order to understand how these ecosystems might become altered as a result. Researchers (a) examined how climate change impacts wildfires in the region, to better understand fire risk; (b) identified...
Categories: Project; Types: Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: 2012, CA, CASC, CO, Completed, All tags...
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In California, increased wildfire activity has been linked to decreasing snowpack and earlier snowmelt. Not only has this translated into a longer fire season, but reduced snowpack has cascading effects that impact streamflow, water supplies, agricultural productivity, and ecosystems. California receives 80% of its precipitation during the winter, so mountain snowpack plays a critical role in replenishing the state’s water supply. One factor that affects the amount of winter precipitation (and therefore snowpack) in California is the North Pacific Jet (NPJ)—a current of strong, high altitude winds that occur over the northern Pacific Ocean. Winters when the NPJ is located further north than normal are drier than...


    map background search result map search result map Analysis of Downscaled Climate Simulations and Projections and Their Use in Decision Making for the Southwest The Vulnerability of Forests to Climate Change and Wildfire in the Southwestern U.S. Projecting Future Streamflow in the Colorado River Basin The Influence of the North Pacific Jet Stream on Future Fire in California The Influence of the North Pacific Jet Stream on Future Fire in California Projecting Future Streamflow in the Colorado River Basin Analysis of Downscaled Climate Simulations and Projections and Their Use in Decision Making for the Southwest The Vulnerability of Forests to Climate Change and Wildfire in the Southwestern U.S.