The Southwest is one of the most sensitive regions to climate change in the U.S., and a soon-to-be-released synthesis report will provide the most comprehensive update on the state-of-the-science on climate changes and impacts for Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. The report, “The Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States,” documents that the Southwest will likely experience continued temperature increases, summer heat waves longer and hotter than experienced in the past, and reduced streamflows, among other climate and ecosystem changes. The report also highlights potential critical changes in key sectors. Agriculture, for example, will likely experience fewer chill-hours, which may force-out some fruit tree producers. Energy production may become less reliable due to potential climate-related increases in demand and declines in power generation efficiency due to increased heat and decreased water supplies. And public health may experience increases in human morbidity and mortality due to increased heat.
Gregg Garfin, lead-coordinating author of this report, will present these and other key findings on Friday, Jan. 25th at 10:30 am in Marshall 531. The report drew on contributions from 121 authors and will be published in early 2013. You can currently access the first chapter of the report, known as the Summary for Decision Makers. The full report will be available here.
The Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States is one of eight regional technical contributions to the National Climate Assessment, which will summarize key findings from each region and will help inform informs the nation about observed changes and anticipated climate trends. The National Climate Assessment report will be published later this year.