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Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States

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A landmark study in terms of its breadth and depth of coverage, this book provides the most comprehensive, and understandable, analysis to date about climate and its effects on the people and landscapes of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah-including the U.S.-Mexico border region and the lands of Native Nations.

Gregg Garfin is Deputy Director for Science Translation & Outreach, Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona. He is a co-investigator and former Project Manager with the Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) project, a NOAA-funded integrated assessment designed to identify and evaluate climate impacts on human and natural systems in the Southwest.


Gregg Garfin is Deputy Director for Science Translation & Outreach, Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona. He is a co-investigator and former Project Manager with the Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) project, a NOAA-funded integrated assessment designed to identify and evaluate climate impacts on human and natural systems in the Southwest.



Abbreviations and Acronyms

Chapter 1: Summary for Decision Makers

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Observed Recent Climatic Change in the Southwest

1.3 Projected Future Climatic Change in the Southwest

1.4 Recent and Future Effects of Climatic Change in the Southwest

Terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems

Coastal systems


Human health

Additional effects of climate change

1.5 Choices for Adjusting to Climate and Climate Change

1.6 Key Unknowns



Chapter 2: Overview

2.1 Introduction

What is an assessment?

2.2 Context and Scope

2.3 Other Southwest Region Climate Assessments

2.4 Sponsors and Authors of this Report

2.5 Characterizing and Communicating Uncertainty

2.6 Accountability and Review

2.7 Organization of This Report


Chapter 3: The Changing Southwest

3.1 Lay of the Land: Geographical Themes and Features

Natural features

Human geography

Public lands


Natural resource economy

3.2 Land Use and Land Cover

Trends for urban and exurban development




Chapter 4: Present Weather and Climate: Average Conditions

4.1 Introduction

4.2 General Climate Characteristics

Surface-air temperature


Snowfall, snowpack, and water resources

4.3 Major Climate and Weather Events


Winter storms



Temperature extremes

Air quality

4.4 Climate Variability


Chapter 5: Present Weather and Climate: Evolving Conditions

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Climate of the First Decade of the Twenty-first Century

5.3 Climate Trends for 1901-2010

5.4 Extreme Weather Variability During 1901-2010

5.5 Summertime Drought During 1901-2010

5.6 Hydroclimatic Variability During 1901-2010

5.7 Paleoclimate of the Southwest United States



Paleo streamflow

5.8 Future Monitoring and Science Needs



Chapter 6: Future Climate: Projected Average

6.1 Global Climate Models: Statistical and Dynamical Downscaling

6.2 Climate Scenarios

6.3 Data Sources

6.4 Temperature Projections

6.5 Projections of Other Temperature Variables

6.6 Precipitation Projections

6.7 Atmospheric Circulation Changes

6.8 North American Monsoon

6.9 Changes in Precipitation-related Measures


Chapter 7: Future Climate: Projected Extremes

7.1 Introduction

7.2. Heat Waves

Heat wave index


7.3 Wintertime Cold Outbreaks

7.4 Precipitation

General results and key uncertainties

North American monsoon (NAM)

Atmospheric rivers

Hail on the Colorado Front Range

7.5 Surface Hydrology



7.6 Fire Weather

Santa Ana winds

7.7 Discussion and Key Uncertainties

Irreversible changes and tipping points



Chapter 8: Natural Ecosystems

8.1 Introduction: Climate, Climate Change, and Ecosystems of the Southwest

8.2 Phenology and Species Interactions

Phenology and interactions among species in terrestrial systems

Interactions in freshwater systems

8.3 Southwestern Deserts

8.4 Southwestern Forests

Temperature, precipitation, and pests and pathogens



Chapter 9: Coastal Issues

9.1 Coastal Assets

9.2 Observed Threats


Threats to the physical environment

Threats to the built environment

9.3 Ocean and Coastal Impacts to Ecosystems


Sea-level rise

Changes in ocean temperature and dynamics

Ocean acidification

9.4 Coastal Impacts to Communities


Airport infrastructure

Vehicular transportation infrastructure

Economy, culture, and identity

9.5 Managing Coastal Climate Risks


Level of preparedness and engagement in adaptation planning

Barriers to adaptation



Chapter 10: Water: Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation

10.1 Introduction

10.2 Physical Changes to the Water Cycle

10.3 Human and Natural Systems Impacts, Risks and Vulnerabilities

10.4 Water Sector Adaptation Activities

10.5 Planning Techniques and Stationarity

10.6 Potential Supply and Demand Strategies and Solutions

10.7 Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation

10.8 Federal Adaptation Initiatives

10.9 SECURE Water Act Overview

10.10 Western States Federal Agency Support Team (WestFAST)

10.11 Climate Change and Water Working Group (CCAWWG)

10.12 State Adaptation Efforts

10.13 Regional and Municipal Adaptation Efforts


Chapter 11: Agriculture and Ranching

11.1 Distinctive Features of Southwestern Agriculture

11.2 Implications for Specialty Crops

11.3 On-farm Water Management

11.4 System-wide Water Management: Lessons from Programming Models of Water Allocation

Sustained drought in California

Water availability and crop yields in California

Effects of adaptation measures in California

Economic and land-use projections in California

Agriculture in Nevada's Great Basin

Water transfers in Rio Grande Basin

Severe drought in Rio Grande Basin

Drought and Arizona's agriculture

Reduced water supplies across the Southwest

Lessons from simulation studies

11.5 Ranching Adaptations to Multi-year Drought

11.6 Disaster Relief Programs and Climate Adaptation


Chapter 12: Energy: Supply, Demand, and Impacts

12.1 Introduction

12.2 Energy in the Southwest: Past and Present

12.3 Potential Climate Impacts on Energy

Climate-induced impacts to peak and annual electricity demand

Vulnerability of electricity generation to climate impacts

Vulnerability of electricity distribution to climate impacts

Vulnerability of infrastructure to indirect climate impacts

Climate impacts on renewable source intensity

Evolution of the energy sector

Climate impacts on primary energy production

Cost of climate change


Chapter 13: Urban Areas

13.1 Cities in the Southwest

Observed changes in climatic trends in major cities in the Southwest

Urban processes that contribute to climate change

Government characteristics of large metropolitan regions in the Southwest

Southwest cities as distinctive federal creations

13.2 Pathways Through which Climate Change Will Affect Cities in the Southwest

Fire hazards

The built environment

Climate change and urban water

13.3 Critical Missing Data and Monitoring in Cities


Chapter 14: Transportation

14.1 Introduction

14.2 Passenger Transportation Trends in the Southwest

14.3 Freight Movement in the Southwest

14.4 Impacts of Climate Change

Direct impacts

Indirect impacts

14.5 Major Vulnerabilities and Uncertainties

Disruptions to the transportation system


Chapter 15: Human Health

15.1 Introduction

15.2 Current Climate-Related Health Concerns in the Southwest

Air quality

Heat extremes


Permissive ecology

15.3 Climate Change and Potential Health Implications

Emissions and air pollution

Increases in extreme events

Long-term warming trend

15.4 Observed and Predicted Effects on Health from Climate Change

Air quality

Heat-related mortality and morbidity

Vector-borne disease

15.5 Uncertainties

Availability of high-quality health data

Climate data

Disease complexity

New disease introduction

15.6 Public Health Planning for Climate Change




Chapter 16: Climate Change and U.S.-Mexico Border Communities

16.1 Introduction

16.2 Definition of the Border Region

16.3 Border Region Climate Variability, Climate Change, and Impacts




16.4 Understanding Vulnerability, Risk, and Adaptive Capacity in the Border Region

Definitions and concepts

Key drivers of border vulnerability

Socioeconomic drivers

Urbanization, infrastructure, and economy

Drivers of biophysical changes and their impacts

16.5 Sectoral Analysis of Border Vulnerability

Water supply and sectoral vulnerability

Agriculture and ranching



Chapter 17: Unique Challenges Facing Southwestern Tribes

17.1 Introduction

17.2 The Effects of Marginal Living Conditions and Extreme Climatic Environments

17.3 Current Impacts on Native lands

17.4 Potential Rangeland Impacts

Sand and dust storms

17.5 Adaptation Strategies and Adaptation Planning

Floods and disaster planning

Droughts and drought mitigation planning

17.6 Challenges for Adaptation Planning

17.7 Vulnerability from Economic, Political, and Legal Stresses

Vulnerability and adaptive capacity

Water rights

17.8 Climate Change Mitigation Strategies



Chapter 18: Climate Choices for a Sustainable Southwest

18.1 Introduction

18.2 Defining a Sustainable Approach to Climate Change in the Southwest

18.3 Making a Sustainable Living in the Southwest: Lessons from History

18.4 Limiting Emissions in the Southwest

18.5 Adaptation Options in the Southwest

18.6 Linking Mitigation and Adaptation

18.7 Barriers to Planning for and Implementing Climate Solutions

18.8 Coping with the Risks of Rapid Climate Changes

18.9 Research Gaps


Chapter 19: Moving Forward with Imperfect Information

19.1 Introduction

19.2 Uncertainty Typologies

Scenario uncertainties

Model uncertainties

Communication uncertainties

19.3 Confidence and Uncertainty

19.4 What Is Known and Not Known About Climate in the Southwest

19.5 Moving Forward


Chapter 20: Research Strategies for Addressing Uncertainties

20.1 Introduction

20.2 Developing Research Strategies from Information Needs

20.3 Research Strategies Derived from the Southwest Climate Assessment

20.4. Research Strategies from Southwestern Ecoregional Initiatives

20.5. Strategies to Improve Characterization in Climate and Hydrology

20.6. Strategies to Improve Characterization of Impacts and Vulnerabilities



Author and Review Editors



Titel: Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States
Untertitel: A Report Prepared for the National Climate Assessment
EAN: 9781610914840
ISBN: 978-1-61091-484-0
Digitaler Kopierschutz: Adobe-DRM
Format: E-Book (pdf)
Herausgeber: Springer-Verlag GmbH
Genre: Sonstiges
Anzahl Seiten: 508
Veröffentlichung: 19.10.2013
Jahr: 2015
Auflage: 2013.
Untertitel: Englisch
Dateigrösse: 81.4 MB