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Projections and downscaling of 21st century temperatures, precipitation, radiative fluxes and winds for the southwestern US, with focus on the Lake Tahoe basin

Climatic Change

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DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0501-x

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Abstract

Recent projections of global climate changes in response to increasing greenhouse-gas concentrations in the atmosphere include warming in the Southwestern US and, especially, in the vicinity of Lake Tahoe of from about +3°C to +6°C by end of century and changes in precipitation on the order of 5-10 % increases or (more commonly) decreases, depending on the climate model considered. Along with these basic changes, other climate variables like solar insolation, downwelling (longwave) radiant heat, and winds may change. Together these climate changes may result in changes in the hydrology of the Tahoe basin and potential changes in lake overturning and ecological regimes. Current climate projections, however, are generally spatially too coarse (with grid cells separated by 1 to 2° latitude and longitude) for direct use in assessments of the vulnerabilities of the much smaller Tahoe basin. Thus, daily temperatures, precipitation, winds, and downward radiation fluxes from selected global projections have been downscaled by a statistical method called the constructed-analogues method onto 10 to 12 km grids over the Southwest and especially over Lake Tahoe. Precipitation, solar insolation and winds over the Tahoe basin change only moderately (and with indeterminate signs) in the downscaled projections, whereas temperatures and downward longwave fluxes increase along with imposed increases in global greenhouse-gas concentrations.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Projections and downscaling of 21st century temperatures, precipitation, radiative fluxes and winds for the southwestern US, with focus on the Lake Tahoe basin
Series title:
Climatic Change
DOI:
10.1007/s10584-012-0501-x
Volume
116
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2013
Language:
English
Publisher:
Springer
Contributing office(s):
Branch of Regional Research-Western Region
Description:
17 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Climatic Change
First page:
17
Last page:
33
Country:
United States
State:
Arizona;California;Idaho;Nevada;Oregon;Utah