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Climate Warming in Western North America

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Copyright: 2009
Trim: 8½ x 11
Pages: 184 pp.
Illustrations: 71 b/w figures, 8 color figures, 7 tables


Climate Warming in Western North America

Evidence and Environmental Effects

Edited by Frederic H. Wagner

Nature and Environment

Western North America is a unique area to use as a laboratory for climate change. Aridity makes it highly sensitive to changes in precipitation and the majority of its water resources come from mountain streams fed by snowfall. Water availability in the West is dependent on both precipitation and evapotranspiration loss. Any change to water availability has a direct affect on agriculture and livestock ranching throughout the region.

Climate change is a subject of extreme breadth and complexity. This book focuses largely on climate change during the twentieth century and the associated environmental effects in western North America. It also uses models based on twentieth-century changes to project twenty-first-century changes. The scientific evidence presented here does not engage in policy advocacy, but provides policy makers useful information in planning for the future.

Frederic H. Wagner is professor emeritus in the Department of Forest, Range, and Wildlife Sciences at Utah State University, where he also served as director of the Ecology Center. He was coordinator for the Rocky Mountain-Great Basin region climate change assessment, one of nineteen regional assessments mandated by Congress.


Rosanne D’Arrigo, Tree-Ring Laboratory, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, New York; Valerie A. Barber, University of Alaska, Fairbanks; Marshall Bartlett, BYU Hawaii; Brendan Buckley, Tree-Ring Laboratory, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; Edward Berg, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge; Daniel R. Cayan, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and USGS; David S. Chapman, University of Utah; Michael D. Dettinger, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and USGS; Noah S. Diffenbaugh, Purdue University; Robert N. Harris, Oregon State University; Henry Huntington, Huntington Consulting; Gregory V. Jones, Southern Oregon University; Torre Jorgensen, ABR Inc. Environmental Research and Services; Glenn Patrick Juday, University of Alaska, Fairbanks; Jesse A. Logan, US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station; Jessica D. Lundquist, University of Washington, Seattle; John H. Matthews, University of Texas, Austin; David McGuire, University of Alaska, Fairbanks; Kirk Miller, USGS; Philip W. Mote, Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington; David L. Naftz, USGS; Tom Osterkamp, University of Alaska, Fairbanks; Liz Oswald, US Forest Service; Camille Parmesan, University of Texas, Austin; James A. Powell, Utah State University; Brian Riordan, University of Alaska, Fairbanks; Paul F. Schuster, USGS; Iris T. Stewart, Santa Clara University; Michael A. White, Utah State University; Alex Whiting, Native Village of Kotzebue; Greg Wiles, Wooster College, Wooster, Ohio; Martin Wilmking, Grieswald University, Germany

Table of Contents:

List of Figures
List of Tables

Part I. Evidence and Projections of Climate Warming
1. Climate Change Projected for the Twenty-First Century and Measured for the Twentieth in the Rocky Mountain/Great Basin Region
2. Surface Warming Inferred from Borehole Temperatures: Results from Utah and Comparisons with the Northern Hemisphere
3. Ice-Core and Flood-Flow Evidence of Rapid Climate Change, Fitzpatrick Wilderness, Wind River Range, Wyoming

Part II. Environmental Effects: Twentieth-Century Observations and Twenty-First Century Projections
4. Variability and Trends in Mountain Snowpacks in Western North America
5. Variability and Trends in Spring Runoff in the Western United States
6. Climate Variability, Climate Change, and Wine Production in the Western United States
7. Credibility and Confidence: Assessing Climate-Change Impacts on Biological Systems in North America
8. Ecological Consequences of Forest Insect Disturbance Altered by Climate Change
9. A Synthesis of Recent Climate Warming Effects on Terrestrial Ecosystems of Alaska

Part III. Overview
10. Climate Warming and Environmental Effects in the West: Evidence for the Twentieth Century and Implications for the Twenty-first

List of Contributors

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