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Climate-change scenarios

By:
, , , and
Edited by:
Frederic H. Wagner

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Abstract

Three procedures were used to develop a set of plausible scenarios of anthropogenic climate change by the year 2100 that could be posed to the sectors selected for assessment (Fig. 2.2). First, a workshop of climatologists with expertise in western North American climates was convened from September 10-12, 1998 at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, CA to discuss and propose a set of scenarios for the Rocky Mountain/Great Basin (RMGB) region.

Secondly, the 20th-century climate record was analyzed to determine what trends might have occurred during the period. Since CO2 and other greenhouse gases increased during the century, it was reasonable to examine whether the changes projected for the 21st century had begun to appear during the 20th, at least qualitatively though not quantitatively.

Third, on the assumption of a two-fold increase in atmospheric CO2 by 2100, climate-change scenarios for the 21st century were projected with two, state-of-the-art computer models that simulate the complex interactions between earth, atmosphere, and ocean to produce the earth’s climate system. Each of the last two procedures has its strengths and weaknesses, and each can function to some degree as a check on the other. The historical analysis has the advantage of using empirical measurements of actual climate change taken over an extensive network of measuring stations. These make it possible to subdivide a large region like the RMGB into subreqions to assess the uniformity of climate and climate change over the region. And the historical measurements can to some degree serve as a check on the GCM simulations when the two are compared over the same time period.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
Other Report
Title:
Climate-change scenarios
Chapter:
3
Year Published:
2003
Language:
English
Publisher:
Utah State University
Publisher location:
Logan, UT
Contributing office(s):
Fort Collins Science Center
Description:
44 p.
Larger Work Type:
Report
Larger Work Subtype:
Other Report
Larger Work Title:
Preparing for a changing climate: The potential consequences of climate variability and change (Rocky Mountain/Great Basin regional climate-change assessment)
First page:
35
Last page:
78
Public Comments:
Larger Work is A Report of the Rocky Mountain/Great Basin Regional Assessment Team for the U.S. Global Change Research Program
Country:
United States
Other Geospatial:
Great Basin, Rocky Mountains