The University of Arizona

Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States: a Technical Report Prepared for the U.S. National Climate Assessment | CLIMAS

    Join Mail List

Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States: a Technical Report Prepared for the U.S. National Climate Assessment

Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States: a Technical Report Prepared for the U.S. National Climate Assessment

Lead Investigator:  

In July 2011, the Southwest Climate Alliance (SWCA) submitted an expression of interest (EOI) to produce this regional technical input report for the National Climate Assessment (NCA). The SWCA institutions and their partners have individually contributed to previous national assessments and to state-level assessments for California and Colorado. They also recently convened a Colorado River Basin workshop to assess regional capacity to perform ongoing assessments.

The SWCA team obtained funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of the Interior to convene a workshop for potential regional assessment authors and hire temporary staff to coordinate production of the report. Experts in the report subject areas were recruited to serve as assessment chapter lead authors. Report authors are primarily from university and federal research labs, with some contributors from state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. They have generously donated their time to this project.

The Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States is a summary and synthesis of the past, present, and projected future of the region’s climate, examining what this means for the health and well-being of human populations and the environment throughout the six Southwestern states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah—an area of about 700,000 square miles that includes vast stretches of coastline, an international border, and the jurisdictions of 182 federally recognized Native American tribes. This technical report is only one of several for which EOIs were submitted. As far as the editors of this report know, this was the only EOI intending to produce a comprehensive regional report.

The report looks at climate and its effects on scales ranging from states to watersheds and across ecosystems and regions; at links between climate and resource supply and demand; at effects on sectors—such as water, agriculture, energy, and transportation—that are critical to the well being of the region’s inhabitants; the vulnerabilities to climate changes of all facets of the region, and the responses, or adaptations, that society may choose to make.

The full report, including a Summary for Decision Makers, is available on swcarr.arizona.edu and cakex.org.

As a preview, recordings of the Southwest Climate Assessment Webinar Series highlight select results:

Episode 1: Climate Projections

Episode 2: Coastal Issues & Climate Adaptation

Episode 3: Health Effects & Border Issues

Episode 4: Urban Areas & Transportation

Episode 5: Natural Ecosystems & Tribal Issues

Episode 6: Energy Impacts & Climate Mitigation