Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United StatesPublished: April 21, 2013
Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States, one of a series of regional reports prepared for the 2013 National Climate Assessment, is a landmark study in terms of its breadth and depth of coverage. Coordinated by the Southwest Climate Alliance—a consortium of researchers affiliated with the NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments in the Southwest (California–Nevada Applications Program, Climate Assessment for the Southwest, Western Water Assessment) and the Department of the Interior Southwest Climate Science Center—the report blends the contributions of 120 experts in climate science, economics, ecology, engineering, geography, hydrology, planning, resource management, and other disciplines to provide the most comprehensive, and understandable, analysis to date about climate and its effects on the people and landscapes of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah—including the U.S.–Mexico border region and the lands of Native Nations. What is the climate of the Southwest like today? What has it been like in the past, and how is it projected to change over the 21st century? How will that affect water resources, ecosystems, agricultural production, energy supply and delivery, transportation, human health, and a host of other areas? How vulnerable is the region to climate change? What else do we need to know about it, and how can we limit its adverse effects? This report addresses these and other questions, offering decision makers and stakeholders a substantial basis from which to make informed choices that will affect the well-being of the region’s inhabitants in the decades to come.
Keywords: Adaptation, agriculture, air quality, assessment, atmospheric river, biodiversity, climate change, climate impacts, climate modeling, climate variability, coastal, Colorado River, decision making, drought, electric power generation, extreme events, flooding, forest mortality, Great Basin, heat related illness, heat wave, land-use change, mitigation, Native American tribes, natural resource management, ocean acidification, phenology, public health, ranching, Rio Grande, Sacramento-San Joaquin, sea-level rise, social vulnerability, Southwest, stationarity, uncertainty, urban metabolism, U.S.Mexico border, vector-borne disease, water resources, wildfire