Resource managers, policymakers, and scientists require tools to inform water resource management and planning. Information on hydrologic factors – such as streamflow, snowpack, and soil moisture – is important for understanding and predicting wildfire risk, flood activity, and agricultural and rangeland productivity, among others. Existing tools for modeling hydrologic conditions rely on information on temperature and precipitation. This project sought to evaluate different methods for downscaling global climate models – that is, taking information produced at a global scale and making it useable at a regional scale, in order to produce more accurate projections of temperature and precipitation for the Pacific...
Analysis of Downscaled Climate Simulations and Projections and Their Use in Decision Making for the Southwest
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.
Providing Natural Resource Managers with Guidance on the Application of Climate Information for Decision-Making
Natural resource managers face uncertainties of many kinds, with limited budgets and ever-evolving hierarchies of management priorities. Not least among those uncertainties are questions regarding future climate conditions. Technological advancements have enhanced our ability to understand and model climate, which has led to improved climate forecasting capabilities. However, climate projections are usually produced at a global scale, which makes them impractical for natural resource managers who are concerned with how climate will change in the specific location or region in which they operate. While there have been a growing number of techniques for increasing the resolution of these projections, resource managers...
Surrounded by saltwater, human and natural communities on the Hawaiian Islands depend upon the freshwater supplied by rainfall for survival. Climate change will likely alter rainfall timing and intensity, but global climate models cannot capture the fine-scale dynamics of local rainfall, making future rainfall predictions for the islands uncertain. For this project, scientists used a technique called statistical downscaling (combining coarse-scale climate models with local historical data) to generate high-resolution maps showing seasonal rainfall change projections for Hawaiʻi over the course of this century. Results suggest that Hawaiʻi’s climate will become drier overall in the second half of the century, but...