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Climate change in the Southwest United States

watsup

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The global rise in temperatures will affect different locations on earth in unique ways. Scientists have identified the Southwest as a climate change hotspot—an area whose climate is particularly vulnerable to an increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (Diffenbaugh et al. 2008). The models used by the US Global Change Research Program indicate that the average annual temperature in the Southwest may increase by 4 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to temperatures between 1960 and 1979. Atmospheric circulation patterns are likely to change, causing southwestern climate to become more arid overall (Christensen et al. 2007, Seager et al. 2007). The aridity may become much worse during La Niña events, causing droughts that may be more severe than any other droughts seen in the climate record, including the medieval megadroughts (Seager et al. 2007, Dominguez et al. 2009). The Southwest may also experience more frequent and longer-lasting heat waves, and the precipitation that does fall is more likely to come from extreme precipitation events (Diffenbaugh et al. 2005). Human- caused changes in winter climate appear to be happening already: over the past 50 years, natural climate variability alone could account for only 40% of the changes observed in snow pack, winter air temperatures, and spring streams in the West (Barnett et al. 2008). These results indicate that if humans continue to emit greenhouse gases, future climate will continue to be outside the normal range of variability.

The seasonality and variability of the precipitation is likely to shift, too. Because of the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on climate, spring has been arriving earlier over the past 50 years, and this trend is likely to continue (Bonfils et al. 2008, Cayan et al. 2001, Stewart et al. 2004). The dry spring season is expected to begin earlier in the year because models predict that the late-winter storm track over the western United States may weaken and shift northward (McAfee and Russell 2008, Seager et al. 2007). If the dry-season is lengthened, severe droughts may occur more often. Drought effects could be amplified by increased variation in year-to-year winter precipitation. Although this variability has not yet been modeled for the future, it has been analyzed for the past 40 years. The analysis found that extreme reversals in winter precipitation from year to year have increased since 1960 (Goodrich and Ellis 2008). For example, the winter of 2004/2005 was the wettest winter on record, but the winter the following year was the driest winter on record. Winter precipitation is far easier to predict than monsoon precipitation because winter storms are large and follow storm tracks, but the monsoon storms are localized and their occurrence is influenced by topography. Therefore, current climate models cannot accurately predict the effect of climate change on the monsoon (Lenart 2007)."

 

calamity

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I heard a pretty good line during a documentary on the planets. To paraphrase: For those finding anthropogenic climate change hard to wrap their minds around, may we suggest a trip to Venus. There they can ponder its effects as they boil while being crushed and dissolved by acid.
 

SNOWFLAKE

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There is NO climate change, wasn't there a winter storm in Texas recently? That PROVES there is no climate change.
 

Hafnium1979

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There is NO climate change, wasn't there a winter storm in Texas recently? That PROVES there is no climate change.

(Hopefully you are being sarcastic here.)
 

Fletch

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The global rise in temperatures will affect different locations on earth in unique ways. Scientists have identified the Southwest as a climate change hotspot—an area whose climate is particularly vulnerable to an increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (Diffenbaugh et al. 2008). The models used by the US Global Change Research Program indicate that the average annual temperature in the Southwest may increase by 4 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to temperatures between 1960 and 1979. Atmospheric circulation patterns are likely to change, causing southwestern climate to become more arid overall (Christensen et al. 2007, Seager et al. 2007). The aridity may become much worse during La Niña events, causing droughts that may be more severe than any other droughts seen in the climate record, including the medieval megadroughts (Seager et al. 2007, Dominguez et al. 2009). The Southwest may also experience more frequent and longer-lasting heat waves, and the precipitation that does fall is more likely to come from extreme precipitation events (Diffenbaugh et al. 2005). Human- caused changes in winter climate appear to be happening already: over the past 50 years, natural climate variability alone could account for only 40% of the changes observed in snow pack, winter air temperatures, and spring streams in the West (Barnett et al. 2008). These results indicate that if humans continue to emit greenhouse gases, future climate will continue to be outside the normal range of variability.

The seasonality and variability of the precipitation is likely to shift, too. Because of the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on climate, spring has been arriving earlier over the past 50 years, and this trend is likely to continue (Bonfils et al. 2008, Cayan et al. 2001, Stewart et al. 2004). The dry spring season is expected to begin earlier in the year because models predict that the late-winter storm track over the western United States may weaken and shift northward (McAfee and Russell 2008, Seager et al. 2007). If the dry-season is lengthened, severe droughts may occur more often. Drought effects could be amplified by increased variation in year-to-year winter precipitation. Although this variability has not yet been modeled for the future, it has been analyzed for the past 40 years. The analysis found that extreme reversals in winter precipitation from year to year have increased since 1960 (Goodrich and Ellis 2008). For example, the winter of 2004/2005 was the wettest winter on record, but the winter the following year was the driest winter on record. Winter precipitation is far easier to predict than monsoon precipitation because winter storms are large and follow storm tracks, but the monsoon storms are localized and their occurrence is influenced by topography. Therefore, current climate models cannot accurately predict the effect of climate change on the monsoon (Lenart 2007)."

Im tempted to say 'so what' for two reasons. 1) There is nothing we can do about it 2) If a hot, dry corner of the globe gets a little hotter and drier, well, so what? It seems to me that there many advantages for humans to a warmer climate. It seems to me that maybe we should just do what we do best--adapt-and stop worrying about things over which we have no control.
 

beefheart

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117 today, but it cooled down to 115 now.
 

calamity

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Im tempted to say 'so what' for two reasons. 1) There is nothing we can do about it 2) If a hot, dry corner of the globe gets a little hotter and drier, well, so what? It seems to me that there many advantages for humans to a warmer climate. It seems to me that maybe we should just do what we do best--adapt-and stop worrying about things over which we have no control.
lol...maybe you should read up on what a horrible difference of a few degrees can make.
 

Terryj

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I heard a pretty good line during a documentary on the planets. To paraphrase: For those finding anthropogenic climate change hard to wrap their minds around, may we suggest a trip to Venus. There they can ponder its effects as they boil while being crushed and dissolved by acid.
To the best of my knowledge Venus climate conditions were not anthropogenic but completely natural, that is unless you know of human beings living on Venus.
 

Hafnium1979

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Im tempted to say 'so what' for two reasons. 1) There is nothing we can do about it 2) If a hot, dry corner of the globe gets a little hotter and drier, well, so what? It seems to me that there many advantages for humans to a warmer climate. It seems to me that maybe we should just do what we do best--adapt-and stop worrying about things over which we have no control.

Incorrect. There IS something we are able to do about it, possibly.

1. We could limit the population that lives in this water-starved region
2. If this is part of the overall global climate change, the majority of that is caused by HUMANS so definitely within our ability to deal with

You hypothesize advantages of a "warmer climate" but that is just wishful thinking. The key being that it will be a major CHANGE and adaptation will have to be quicker than our economy will likely be able to handle.

Rather than "hoping" for the best, why don't we take responsibility for the things we CAN address and actually act like grown ups?
 

calamity

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To the best of my knowledge Venus climate conditions were not anthropogenic but completely natural, that is unless you know of human beings living on Venus.
Really? Wow. Do tell.
 

watsup

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To the best of my knowledge Venus climate conditions were not anthropogenic but completely natural, that is unless you know of human beings living on Venus.

As opposed to the planet Earth whereby a certain overpopulated species, Homo sapiens, is f*****g up the NATURAL atmosphere with excess CO2 and thereby potentially causing severe problems for itself in the long run.
 

calamity

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As opposed to the planet Earth whereby a certain overpopulated species, Homo sapiens, is f*****g up the NATURAL atmosphere with excess CO2 and thereby potentially causing severe problems for itself in the long run.
At the very least, we are accelerating the Venus effect. Odds are we become like Venus in a billion years regardless. But, at this rate, we might be well on the way within a hundred.
 

Bullseye

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The global rise in temperatures will affect different locations on earth in unique ways. Scientists have identified the Southwest as a climate change hotspot—an area whose climate is particularly vulnerable to an increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (Diffenbaugh et al. 2008). The models used by the US Global Change Research Program indicate that the average annual temperature in the Southwest may increase by 4 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to temperatures between 1960 and 1979. Atmospheric circulation patterns are likely to change, causing southwestern climate to become more arid overall (Christensen et al. 2007, Seager et al. 2007). The aridity may become much worse during La Niña events, causing droughts that may be more severe than any other droughts seen in the climate record, including the medieval megadroughts (Seager et al. 2007, Dominguez et al. 2009). The Southwest may also experience more frequent and longer-lasting heat waves, and the precipitation that does fall is more likely to come from extreme precipitation events (Diffenbaugh et al. 2005). Human- caused changes in winter climate appear to be happening already: over the past 50 years, natural climate variability alone could account for only 40% of the changes observed in snow pack, winter air temperatures, and spring streams in the West (Barnett et al. 2008). These results indicate that if humans continue to emit greenhouse gases, future climate will continue to be outside the normal range of variability.

The seasonality and variability of the precipitation is likely to shift, too. Because of the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on climate, spring has been arriving earlier over the past 50 years, and this trend is likely to continue (Bonfils et al. 2008, Cayan et al. 2001, Stewart et al. 2004). The dry spring season is expected to begin earlier in the year because models predict that the late-winter storm track over the western United States may weaken and shift northward (McAfee and Russell 2008, Seager et al. 2007). If the dry-season is lengthened, severe droughts may occur more often. Drought effects could be amplified by increased variation in year-to-year winter precipitation. Although this variability has not yet been modeled for the future, it has been analyzed for the past 40 years. The analysis found that extreme reversals in winter precipitation from year to year have increased since 1960 (Goodrich and Ellis 2008). For example, the winter of 2004/2005 was the wettest winter on record, but the winter the following year was the driest winter on record. Winter precipitation is far easier to predict than monsoon precipitation because winter storms are large and follow storm tracks, but the monsoon storms are localized and their occurrence is influenced by topography. Therefore, current climate models cannot accurately predict the effect of climate change on the monsoon (Lenart 2007)."

Why is when someone brings up periods of cool/cold weather to disprove warning all we hear is “weaher isn’t climate”, but when we have a streak of hot WEATHER the chorus of “global warming” is deafening?
 

watsup

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Why is when someone brings up periods of cool/cold weather to disprove warning all we hear is “weaher isn’t climate”, but when we have a streak of hot WEATHER the chorus of “global warming” is deafening?

Ummmmmm—because CO2 is WARMING the atmosphere and the oceans. Those areas that are already are naturally not will suffer the most as additional warming is added in top of what is “natural”. Instances of record heat are occurring at five times the rate of record cold at the present time, whereas in a “normal” period they would be occurring at about the equal rate.
 

Bullseye

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Ummmmmm—because CO2 is WARMING the atmosphere and the oceans. Those areas that are already are naturally not will suffer the most as additional warming is added in top of what is “natural”. Instances of record heat are occurring at five times the rate of record cold at the present time, whereas in a “normal” period they would be occurring at about the equal rate.
Well done, you’ve learned your mantras perfectly.
 

Deuce

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Im tempted to say 'so what' for two reasons. 1) There is nothing we can do about it 2) If a hot, dry corner of the globe gets a little hotter and drier, well, so what? It seems to me that there many advantages for humans to a warmer climate. It seems to me that maybe we should just do what we do best--adapt-and stop worrying about things over which we have no control.

Sure, if you look at the world from the unfounded assumption of "humans have no impact on the climate whatsoever," it will affect your perception of things like this.
 

Deuce

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Well done, you’ve learned your mantras perfectly.

People like you routinely will say shit like this even to a climate scientist.

Bullseye, your feelings are not better than their evidence.
 
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