Predicting climate change impacts on precipitation for western North America

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McKechnie, Nicole R.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 2005
Global Circulation Models (GCMs) are used to create projections of possible future climate characteristics under global climate change scenarios. Future local and regional precipitation scenarios can be developed by downscaling synoptic CGM data. Daily 500-mb geopotential heights from the Canadian Centre for Climate Modeling and Analysis's CGCM2 are used to represent future (2020-2050) synoptics and are compared to daily historical (1960-1990) 500-mb geopotential height reanalysis data. The comparisons are made based on manually classified synoptic patterns identified by Changnon et al. (1993.Mon. Weather Rev. 121:633-647). Multiple linear regression models are used to link the historical synoptic pattern frequencies and precipitation amounts for 372 weather stations across western North America,. The station-specific models are then used to forecast future precipitation amounts per weather station based on synoptic pattern frequencies forecast by the CGCM2 climate change forcing scenario. Spatial and temporal variations in precipitation are explored to determine monthly, seasonal and annual trends in climate change impacts on precipitation in western North America. The resulting precipitation scenarios demonstrate a decrease in precipitation from 10 to 30% on an annual basis for much of the south and western regions of the study area. Seasonal forecasts show variations of the same regions with decreases in precipitation and select regions with increases in future precipitation. A major advancement of this analysis was the application of synoptic pattern downscaling to summer precipitation scenarios for western North America.
ix, 209 leaves : col. maps ; 29 cm.
Precipitation probabilities -- Canada, Western , Precipitation probabilities -- West (U.S) , Dissertations, Academic , Precipitation (Meteorology) -- Canada, Western , Precipitation (Meteorology) -- West (U.S.) , Climatic changes -- Research -- Canada, Western , Climatic changes -- Research -- West (U.S.) , Climatology , Canada, Western -- Climate , West (U.S.) -- Climate