Climate changein the West                 1/20/13
EcoWest missionInform and advance conservation in the AmericanWest by analyzing, visualizing, and sharing dataon environme...
EcoWest decks This is one of six presentations that illustrate key environmental metrics. Libraries for each topic contain...
Table of contents  1.   Temperature  2.   Precipitation  3.   Water impacts  4.   Biodiversity impacts  5.   Wildfire impa...
Key points  •   Temperature:       – The West is already warming faster than many parts of the country and even         hi...
TEMPERATURE              1/20/13
125 years of warming in 30 seconds                      Source: NASA   1/20/13
U.S. average temperatures: 1951-2006Averagetemperature (˚F)                    Source: Climate Wizard   1/20/13
Projected temperature change by 2080sHigh emissions (A2) scenarioMean temperaturedeparture (˚F)                           ...
Days above 90°FSource: U.S. Global Change Research Program             1/20/13
Hours per day above 100°F in Phoenix                 Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program   1/20/13
PRECIPITATION                1/20/13
US average precipitation: 1951-2002                            100th MeridianAnnual precipitation(inches)                 ...
U.S. average precipitation change: 1951-2002Average precipitation change(inches)                               Source: Cli...
Precipitation change by 2080s:Low emissions (B1) scenarioAverage precipitation change(millimeters)                        ...
Precipitation change by 2080s:High emissions (A2) scenario Average precipitation change (millimeters)                     ...
Projected precipitation changes: 2080-2099                 Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program   1/20/13
Most of Southwest expected to get drier               Source: Tetra Tech , Natural Resources Defense Council   1/20/13
WATER IMPACTS                1/20/13
Climate change effects on water cycle                 Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program   1/20/13
Changes in snowfall: 1949-2005                Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program   1/20/13
Trends in April 1 snowpack: 1950-2002                                                               Decrease Increase     ...
Trends in peak streamflow timingObserved trends: 1948-2002                     Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program...
Trends in peak streamflow timingProjected trends: 2080-2099                      Source: U.S. Global Change Research Progr...
Projected changes in median runoff:2041-2060 vs. 1901-1970                   Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program  ...
BIODIVERSITY IMPACTS                       1/20/13
Temperature and precipitation limit plant distribution                   Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program   1/2...
U.S. average temperatures: 1951-2006            Mount Whitney, 14,505 feet                    Death Valley, -282 feet     ...
Average precipitation: 1951-2002Annualprecip.(inches)                    Source: Climate Wizard   1/20/13
Climate change andincreasing CO2 willshift mosaic ofecosystems                      Source: U.S. Forest Service   1/20/13
Decreasing habitat for coldwater fish                  Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program   1/20/13
Birds are already on the move                  Source: Associated Press, Audubon Society, NOAA   1/20/13
Pika’s habitat threatened by climate change                    Source: Photo by Mitch Tobin   1/20/13
Projected change in suitable habitat for pika                                                1/20/13
Whitebark pine: current viability                     Source: Crookston et al. (2010)   1/20/13
Whitebark pine: 2090 viability                    Source: Crookston et al. (2010)   1/20/13
WILDFIRE IMPACTS                   1/20/13
Wildfires are arriving earlier and lasting longer                     Source: Westerling et al. (2006)   1/20/13
Change in burned area projected from 1°C warming                  Source: National Research Council   1/20/13
Mountain pine beetle attacking lodgepole forests                                            1/20/13
Climate anomalies connected to tree mortality             Source: Biodiversity and Climate Research Center, Conservation B...
Climate anomalies connected to tree mortality             Source: Biodiversity and Climate Research Center, Conservation B...
Biotic agents and climate-related tree mortality              Source: Biodiversity and Climate Research Center, Conservati...
Biotic agents and climate-related tree mortality             Source: Biodiversity and Climate Research Center, Conservatio...
GREENHOUSE GASES                   1/20/13
Sectors and sources for U.S. GHG emissions                                             1/20/13
GHG trends by sector                            United States                                                     Western ...
GHG emissions: California, the West, and the U.S.2800                                              California             ...
Western states’ GHG emissions: 2008 Electricity generation Transportation           Fugitive emissions Residential        ...
GHG emissions in 2008, adjusted for land sinks       Sink Non-                                            Circle sizes sho...
OTHER AIR POLLUTION                      1/20/13
Sources and health effects of air pollution                    Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency   1/20/13
Air quality improving even as economy grows                  Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency   1/20/13
National levels of six common pollutants                   Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency   1/20/13
Improvements in air quality: 1980-2010                                        1980 vs. 2010                               ...
Trends in emissions sources                                  1980 vs. 2010                                                ...
But millions still exposed to unhealthy air                    Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency   1/20/13
Cancer risk associated with toxic air pollutants                    Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency   1/20/13
Number of bad air days 2002-2010                  Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency   1/20/13
PM 2.5 emissions: 2008              Fuel combustion             Mobile sources              Dust                          ...
NOx emissions: 2008            Fuel Combustion       Mobile sources           Fire          All other sources             ...
SO2 emissions: 2008              Fuel combustion             Mobile sources                Fire   Industrial Processes    ...
VOC emissions:VOC Emissions 2008              2008          Fuel combustion     Mobile sources          Agriculture       ...
Carbon Monoxide Emissions 2008CO emissions: 2008             Fuel combustion            Mobile sources               All o...
Download more slides and other libraries                ecowest.org                                           1/20/13
EcoWest advisors            Jon Christensen, Adjunct Assistant Professor and Pritzker            Fellow at the Institute o...
EcoWest advisors            Jonathan Hoekstra, head of WWF’s Conservation Science            Program, lead author of The A...
Contributors at California Environmental Associates        Mitch Tobin        Editor of EcoWest.org        Communications ...
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Climate Change in the American West

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This EcoWest presentation explains how climate change is expected to affect the American West, with a focus on the water cycle, biodiversity, and wildfires. Learn more at EcoWest.org

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  • Narrative: Let’s begin by examining how temperatures have been changing in the West and elsewhere.
  • Narrative: This video from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies shows how the planet has been heating up since the 1880s. You can see that the temperature increases are most striking in the Arctic and things have really heated up in recent years. The average temperature around the globe in 2011 was 0.92 degrees F (0.51 C) warmer than the mid-20th century baseline.Source: NASAGoddard Institute for Space Studies URL: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2011-temps.html Notes:The global average surface temperature in 2011 was the ninth warmest since 1880, according to NASA scientists. The finding continues a trend in which nine of the 10 warmest years in the modern meteorological record have occurred since the year 2000. NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, which monitors global surface temperatures on an ongoing basis, released an updated analysis that shows temperatures around the globe in 2011 compared to the average global temperature from the mid-20th century. The comparison shows how Earth continues to experience warmer temperatures than several decades ago. The average temperature around the globe in 2011 was 0.92 degrees F (0.51 C) warmer than the mid-20th century baseline.
  • Narrative: Let’s take a closer look at temperatures in the United States. This map, created using The Nature Conservancy’s Climate Wizard tool, shows the average temperature across the lower 48. You can see that the West has some of the hottest and coldest areas, often in close proximity. This measure—average temperature--has its limits. It doesn’t, for example, account for the fact that drier places, such as deserts, often have wild swings in temperature in any given day, with 30 or 40 degrees separating the high and low temperatures, while many coastal areas have much less variability. Source: Climate Wizard URL: http://www.climatewizard.org/ http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi/10.1371/journal.pone.0008320Notes: Climate Wizard is a collaboration between The Nature Conservancy, University of Washington, and University of Southern Mississippi. The first generation of this web-based program—which was recently launched at www.climatewizard.org—allows the user to choose a state or country and see both the climate change that has occurred to date and the climate change that is predicted to occur. Simply put, Climate Wizard can be used to assess how climate has changed over time and to project what future changes are likely to occur in a given area. Climate Wizard represents the first time ever the full range of climate history and impacts for a landscape have been brought together in a user-friendly format. See: Girvetz EH, Zganjar C, Raber GT, Maurer EP, Kareiva P, et al. (2009) Applied Climate-Change Analysis: The Climate Wizard Tool. PLoS ONE 4(12): e8320
  • Narrative: Looking ahead, it’s expected to get warmer across the nation, but the increases will likely be greatest in the Interior West, Midwest, and at higher latitudes.Source: Climate Wizard URL: http://www.climatewizard.org/ http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi/10.1371/journal.pone.0008320Notes: Climate Wizard is a collaboration between The Nature Conservancy, University of Washington, and University of Southern Mississippi. The first generation of this web-based program—which was recently launched at www.climatewizard.org—allows the user to choose a state or country and see both the climate change that has occurred to date and the climate change that is predicted to occur. Simply put, Climate Wizard can be used to assess how climate has changed over time and to project what future changes are likely to occur in a given area. Climate Wizard represents the first time ever the full range of climate history and impacts for a landscape have been brought together in a user-friendly format. See: Girvetz EH, Zganjar C, Raber GT, Maurer EP, Kareiva P, et al. (2009) Applied Climate-Change Analysis: The Climate Wizard Tool. PLoS ONE 4(12): e8320
  • Narrative: These three maps show the average number of days per year when the maximum temperature exceeds 90°F. The top map is for 1961-1971, the middle map shows the number projected by the 2080s and 2090s for a lower emissions scenario, and the bottom one show projections for a higher emissions scenario. Much of the southern United States is projected to have more than twice as many days per year above 90°F by the end of this century.Source: UU.S. Global Change Research ProgramURL: http://downloads.climatescience.gov/usimpacts/pdfs/climate-impacts-report.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: In urban areas, where most of the West’s population resides, temperatures have already been rising. This graphic shows that the average number of hours per summer day in Phoenix that the temperature was over 100°F has doubled over the past 50 years. Now, a big part of this is a result of the urban heat island effect, in which buildings, roads, and other human developments retain heat in a city,but climate change is also a factor so the trend toward hotter and hotter days is expected to continue. Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program, Baker et al.URL: http://downloads.climatescience.gov/usimpacts/pdfs/climate-impacts-report.pdfNotes:
  • Now let’s shift to precipitation
  • Narrative: You can see that west of the 100th Meridian, conditions are generally drier, except for the Pacific Northwest and the highest mountains in the region. But what’s perhaps most striking about the West is how varied the precipitation is and how spotty the patterns are, largely due to the influence of mountains and the rain shadows they cast.Source: Climate Wizard URL: http://www.climatewizard.org/ http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi/10.1371/journal.pone.0008320Notes: Climate Wizard is a collaboration between The Nature Conservancy, University of Washington, and University of Southern Mississippi. The first generation of this web-based program—which was recently launched at www.climatewizard.org—allows the user to choose a state or country and see both the climate change that has occurred to date and the climate change that is predicted to occur. Simply put, Climate Wizard can be used to assess how climate has changed over time and to project what future changes are likely to occur in a given area. Climate Wizard represents the first time ever the full range of climate history and impacts for a landscape have been brought together in a user-friendly format. See: Girvetz EH, Zganjar C, Raber GT, Maurer EP, Kareiva P, et al. (2009) Applied Climate-Change Analysis: The Climate Wizard Tool. PLoS ONE 4(12): e8320
  • Narrative: Since the middle of the 20th century, some parts of the West have gotten wetter, others have gotten drier. As with temperature, it’s a complex pattern.Source: Climate Wizard URL: http://www.climatewizard.org/ http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi/10.1371/journal.pone.0008320Notes: Climate Wizard is a collaboration between The Nature Conservancy, University of Washington, and University of Southern Mississippi. The first generation of this web-based program—which was recently launched at www.climatewizard.org—allows the user to choose a state or country and see both the climate change that has occurred to date and the climate change that is predicted to occur. Simply put, Climate Wizard can be used to assess how climate has changed over time and to project what future changes are likely to occur in a given area. Climate Wizard represents the first time ever the full range of climate history and impacts for a landscape have been brought together in a user-friendly format. See: Girvetz EH, Zganjar C, Raber GT, Maurer EP, Kareiva P, et al. (2009) Applied Climate-Change Analysis: The Climate Wizard Tool. PLoS ONE 4(12): e8320
  • Narrative: Looking ahead, this map illustrates what’s expected to happen with precipitation under a low-emissions scenario. The Southwest and California are expected to get much drier, while the Pacific Northwest is projected to get wetter. Source: Climate Wizard URL: http://www.climatewizard.org/ http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi/10.1371/journal.pone.0008320Notes: Climate Wizard is a collaboration between The Nature Conservancy, University of Washington, and University of Southern Mississippi. The first generation of this web-based program—which was recently launched at www.climatewizard.org—allows the user to choose a state or country and see both the climate change that has occurred to date and the climate change that is predicted to occur. Simply put, Climate Wizard can be used to assess how climate has changed over time and to project what future changes are likely to occur in a given area. Climate Wizard represents the first time ever the full range of climate history and impacts for a landscape have been brought together in a user-friendly format. See: Girvetz EH, Zganjar C, Raber GT, Maurer EP, Kareiva P, et al. (2009) Applied Climate-Change Analysis: The Climate Wizard Tool. PLoS ONE 4(12): e8320
  • Narrative: Here’s what’s projected under a higher emissions scenario. Once again, areas at lower latitudes in the Southwest and elsewhere are generally expected to get drier, while areas farther north are projected to get wetter.Source: Climate Wizard URL: http://www.climatewizard.org/ http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi/10.1371/journal.pone.0008320Notes: Climate Wizard is a collaboration between The Nature Conservancy, University of Washington, and University of Southern Mississippi. The first generation of this web-based program—which was recently launched at www.climatewizard.org—allows the user to choose a state or country and see both the climate change that has occurred to date and the climate change that is predicted to occur. Simply put, Climate Wizard can be used to assess how climate has changed over time and to project what future changes are likely to occur in a given area. Climate Wizard represents the first time ever the full range of climate history and impacts for a landscape have been brought together in a user-friendly format. See: Girvetz EH, Zganjar C, Raber GT, Maurer EP, Kareiva P, et al. (2009) Applied Climate-Change Analysis: The Climate Wizard Tool. PLoS ONE 4(12): e8320
  • Narrative: These maps show projected future changes in precipitation relative to the recent past as simulated by 15 climate models. The simulations are for late in the 21st century, under a higher emissions scenario. While projections for precipitation are cloudier than those for temperature, climate models are showing that in the spring, northern areas are likely to get wetter, while southern areas are expected to get drier. There’s less certainty where the transition between wetter and drier areas will occur, but the hatched areas indicate where confidence is highest. Source: U.S. Global Change Research ProgramURL: http://downloads.climatescience.gov/usimpacts/pdfs/climate-impacts-report.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: The previous maps looked at projections for the end of the 21st century, but this map focuses on period between 2020 and 2039, which isn’t that far away. Compared to the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, large portions of the West, especially at lower latitudes, are expected to get drier, while the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies are projected to get wetter. Source: Tetra Tech/NRDCURL: http://rd.tetratech.com/climatechange/projects/nrdc_climate.aspNotes:
  • Changing precipitation patterns will obviously affect the West’s water supply and many scientists believe that climate change will be most conspicuous in the hydrological cycle.
  • Narrative: This graphic summarizes how climate change will impact the nation’s water supply. The Interior West is expected to get not only hotter but drier and be susceptible to worse droughts. In winter, the higher temperatures will mean less precipitation falling as snow, more as rain, which will have major effects on the region’s rivers, many of which are dependent on the melting snowpack. Hotter temperatures mean higher evaporation rates, greater water use, and potentially more conflicts over water. Source: U.S. Global Change Research ProgramURL: http://downloads.climatescience.gov/usimpacts/pdfs/climate-impacts-report.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: Just in the past few decades, we’ve already seen a shift from snow to rain throughout much of the country, though in some places in the West, it’s actually gotten snowier. This map shows trends in winter snow-to-total precipitation ratio from 1949 to 2005. Red circles indicate less snow, while blue squares indicate more snow. Large circles and squares indicate the most significant trends. Areas south of 37ºN latitude were excluded from the analysis because most of that area receives little snowfall. White areas above that line had inadequate data for this analysis.Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program; Feng and HuURL: http://downloads.climatescience.gov/usimpacts/pdfs/climate-impacts-report.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: April 1 snowpack, a key indicator of natural water storage available for the warm season, has already declined throughout the Northwest. In the Cascade Mountains, April 1 snowpack declined by an average of 25 percent, with some areas experiencing up to 60 percent declines. On the map, decreasing trends are in red and increasing trends are in blue.Source: U.S. Global Change Research ProgramURL: http://downloads.climatescience.gov/usimpacts/pdfs/climate-impacts-report.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: Changes in the snowpack and precipitation patterns, plus warmer temperatures have already lead to an earlier peak to the spring snowmelt. From Arizona to Alaska, most watersheds shown in this map experienced an earlier date for peak streamflow, as shown by the red circles. Only a few were later and those are shown in blue. Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program, Stewart et al.URL: http://downloads.climatescience.gov/usimpacts/pdfs/climate-impacts-report.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: Once you factor in future climate change, the surge of snowmelt that feeds Western rivers is expected to come even earlier, in some cases more than a month sooner by the end of the 21st century. This map shows projected changes in snowmelt-driven streams by 2080-2099, compared to 1951-1980, under a higher greenhouse gas emissions scenario. Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program, Stewart et al.URL: http://downloads.climatescience.gov/usimpacts/pdfs/climate-impacts-report.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: Add it all up and we’re expecting to see pretty significant declines in runoff in much of the West, with steep declines expected in the lower Colorado River Basin. This map shows projected changes in median runoff for 2041-2060, relative to a 1901-1970 baseline, are mapped by water-resource region. Colors indicate percentage changes in runoff. Hatched areas indicate greater confidence due to strong agreement among model projections. White areas indicate divergence among model projections. Results are based on emissions in between the lower and higher emissions scenarios. A 10 to 20 percent decline is expected throughout California, the Great Basin, the Upper Colorado River, the Rio Grande, and the Arkansas. Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program, Milly et alURL: http://downloads.climatescience.gov/usimpacts/pdfs/climate-impacts-report.pdfNotes:
  • Now let’s shift to climate change’s impact on biodiversity in the West and its incredible array of plants, animals, and ecosystems.
  • Narrative: Temperatureand precipitation play critical roles in determining the distribution of plant communities around the globe. Plant distributions, in turn, determine what types of animals are found in various places. This graphic shows how the climate zones compare for various types of plant communities. Because climate change is expected to affect both temperature and precipitation, major shifts in plant communities are projected in the West and elsewhere.Source: U.S. Global Change Research ProgramURL: http://www.usgcrp.gov/usgcrp//Library/nationalassessment/overviewecosystems.htmNotes: Both temperature and precipitation limit the distribution of plant communities. The climate (temperature and precipitation) zones of some of the major plant communities (such as temperate forests, grasslands, and deserts) in the U.S. are shown in this figure. Note that the grasslands zone encompasses a wide range of environments. This zone can include a mixture of woody plants with the grasses. The shrublands and woodlands of the West are examples of grass/woody vegetation mixes that occur in the zone designated as grasslands. With climate change, the areas occupied by these zones will shift relative to their current distribution. Plant species are expected to shift with their climate zones. The new plant communities that result from these shifts are likely to be different from current plant communities because individual species will very likely migrate at different rates and have different degrees of success in establishing themselves in new places.
  • Narrative: One of the West’s most striking aspects is the enormous variation in elevation, temperature, precipitation—and therefore ecosystems—that are found in a small area. The scorching desert of Death Valley, 282 feet below sea level and the lowest point on the continent, is only 85 miles away from the snow-capped peak of Mount Whitney, 14,505 feet above sea level and the tallest point in the contiguous 48 states.Source: Climate Wizard URL: http://www.climatewizard.org/ http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi/10.1371/journal.pone.0008320Notes: Climate Wizard is a collaboration between The Nature Conservancy, University of Washington, and University of Southern Mississippi. The first generation of this web-based program—which was recently launched at www.climatewizard.org—allows the user to choose a state or country and see both the climate change that has occurred to date and the climate change that is predicted to occur. Simply put, Climate Wizard can be used to assess how climate has changed over time and to project what future changes are likely to occur in a given area. Climate Wizard represents the first time ever the full range of climate history and impacts for a landscape have been brought together in a user-friendly format. See: Girvetz EH, Zganjar C, Raber GT, Maurer EP, Kareiva P, et al. (2009) Applied Climate-Change Analysis: The Climate Wizard Tool. PLoS ONE 4(12): e8320
  • Narrative: Same goes with precipitation. Look, for example, at Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The Cascade Mountains are among the wettest areas in the country, but to their east, precipitation is scant, except for the higher elevations of the Northern Rockies. The result is an amazing variety of ecosystems, ranging from rainforests to deserts, in a relatively compact area. Because some plants and animals require a warmer, drier climate, while others need cooler, wetter weather, the diversity of species can be tremendous in just one corner of one state. Source: Climate Wizard URL: http://www.climatewizard.org/ http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi/10.1371/journal.pone.0008320Notes: Climate Wizard is a collaboration between The Nature Conservancy, University of Washington, and University of Southern Mississippi. The first generation of this web-based program—which was recently launched at www.climatewizard.org—allows the user to choose a state or country and see both the climate change that has occurred to date and the climate change that is predicted to occur. Simply put, Climate Wizard can be used to assess how climate has changed over time and to project what future changes are likely to occur in a given area. Climate Wizard represents the first time ever the full range of climate history and impacts for a landscape have been brought together in a user-friendly format. See: Girvetz EH, Zganjar C, Raber GT, Maurer EP, Kareiva P, et al. (2009) Applied Climate-Change Analysis: The Climate Wizard Tool. PLoS ONE 4(12): e8320
  • Narrative: Because climate change will affect future temperatures, precipitation patterns, and other elements of the weather, the mosaic of ecosystems in the West is going to be rearranged. This map shows the current conditions, as well as the results from two climate models. The West currently includes arid lands in the Southwest deserts, conifer forests at higher elevations, and shrubs, woodlands, and grasslands in between. The models not only factor in changing temperature and precipitation but also account for increasing levels of carbon dioxide, which promotes plant growth. You can see that in the Southwest, a large portion of the arid land deserts are replaced with grasslands, shrubs, or woodlands. In the Great Basin, there’s a shift from shrubs to savannas. Source: U.S. Forest ServiceURL: http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/mdr/mapss/about/modeloutput/sim_usvegdist.shtmlNotes:
  • Narrative: Let’s take a closer look at some specific examples of species that will be impacted by climate change. This series of maps shows average air temperatures in August for the Pacific Northwest. Levels above 70°F can severely stress coldwater fish, such as trout, salmon, and steelhead by raising water temperatures. You can see that major warming is expected in the region over the next few decades.Source: U.S. Global Change Research ProgramURL: http://downloads.climatescience.gov/usimpacts/pdfs/climate-impacts-report.pdfNotes: Increasing air temperatures lead to rising water temperatures, which increase stress on coldwater fish such as trout, salmon, and steelhead. August average air temperature above 70°F is a threshold above which these fish are severely stressed. Projected temperatures for the 2020s and 2040s under a higher emissions scenario suggest that the habitat for these fish is likely to decrease dramatically.
  • Narrative: Researchers are already documenting a northward movement of birds and other species in response to warming temperatures. This graphic shows results from an analysis of 40 years of data from the Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count. Many species are wintering farther north in response to the changing climate.Source: Associated Press, Audubon Society, NOAAURL: http://birdsandclimate.audubon.org/Notes: Nearly 60% of the 305 species found in North America in winter are on the move, shifting their ranges northward by an average of 35 miles. Audubon scientists analyzed 40 years of citizen-science Christmas Bird Count data — and their findings provide new and powerful evidence that global warming is having a serious impact on natural systems. Northward movement was detected among species of every type, including more than 70 percent of highly adaptable forest and feeder birds.
  • Narrative: In some cases, species will be able to fly, swim, crawl, hop, or otherwise move to more suitable habitat. But sometimes there will be insurmountable obstacles. This is a pika, a small rabbitlike creature that lives in alpine boulder fields in western North America. It can die in a matter of hours if exposed to temperatures higher than 78 degrees. The pika faces a challenging future because it can only retreat uphill so far. Eventually, it will run out of mountain.Source: Photo by Mitch TobinURL:Notes:
  • Narrative: The map on the left shows currently suitable habitat for the pika, but the map on the right shows what’s expected by 2100 if climate change continues. According to this projection, vast areas that are now home to pikas will be too warm to support the species.Source: Scott Loarie, Carnegie Institution Department of Global EcologyURL: http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2009/lawsuit-filed-to-protect-american-pika-under-california-endangered-species-actNotes:
  • Narrative: Signature plants of the West, and the animals that depend on them, will no longer be found in many locations if warming continues. This map shows the current viability of whitebark pine, a critical food source for grizzly bears and other species. The viability index ranges from 0 to 1, with lower values indicated lower suitability and 1 indicating the species is nearly always present in that climate.Source: Crookston, N., Rehfeldt, G., Dixon, G., and A. Weiskittel. 2010.  Addressing climate change in the forest vegetation simulator to assess impacts on landscape forest dynamics. Forest Ecology and Management 260: 1198-1211. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station - Moscow Forestry Sciences LaboratoryURL: http://app.databasin.org/app/pages/datasetPage.jsp?id=74899f25ad8549548ab7b9319a45586dNotes: This dataset portrays the "current" (2010) viability score (scale of 0 - 1.0) for Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) in western North America. It serves as the base condition for future species-climate profiles.(From Crookston et al. 2010): To develop the climate profile, we used a data from permanent sample plots largely from Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA, Bechtold and Patterson, 2005) but supplemented with research plot data to provide about 117,000 observations (see Rehfeldt et al., 2006, 2009) describing the presence and absence of numerous species. The Random Forests classification tree of Breiman (2001), implemented in R by Liaw and Wiener (2002), was then used to predict the presence or absence of species from climate variables. The Random Forests algorithm outputs statistics (i.e., vote counts) that reflect the likelihood (proportion of the total votes cast) that the climate at a location would be suitable for a species. We interpret this likelihood as a viability score: values near zero indicate a low suitability while those near 1.0 indicate a suitability so high that the species is nearly always present in that climate.
  • Narrative: Here’s what’s expected by 2090 if emissions continue to rise. The whitebark pine is gone from the lower 48.Source: Crookston, N., Rehfeldt, G., Dixon, G., and A. Weiskittel. 2010.  Addressing climate change in the forest vegetation simulator to assess impacts on landscape forest dynamics. Forest Ecology and Management 260: 1198-1211. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station - Moscow Forestry Sciences LaboratoryURL: http://app.databasin.org/app/pages/datasetPage.jsp?id=ffca0abf15a44fa286b362f153519696Notes: This dataset portrays the "current" (2010) viability score (scale of 0 - 1.0) for Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) in western North America. It serves as the base condition for future species-climate profiles.(From Crookston et al. 2010): To develop the climate profile, we used a data from permanent sample plots largely from Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA, Bechtold and Patterson, 2005) but supplemented with research plot data to provide about 117,000 observations (see Rehfeldt et al., 2006, 2009) describing the presence and absence of numerous species. The Random Forests classification tree of Breiman (2001), implemented in R by Liaw and Wiener (2002), was then used to predict the presence or absence of species from climate variables. The Random Forests algorithm outputs statistics (i.e., vote counts) that reflect the likelihood (proportion of the total votes cast) that the climate at a location would be suitable for a species. We interpret this likelihood as a viability score: values near zero indicate a low suitability while those near 1.0 indicate a suitability so high that the species is nearly always present in that climate.
  • Now let’s shift to another major impact of climate change: the West’s changing wildfire season.
  • Narrative: Scientists have already found that the warming experienced over the past few decades in the West has led to an increase in wildfire activity. One paper concluded that “large wildfire activity increased suddenly and markedly” starting in the mid-1980s, with most of the change due to a warming climate rather than fire suppression. Higher temperatures led to a thinner snowpack that melted earlier in spring, leading to more-flammable conditions in summer. The scientists looked at more than 1,100 large blazes that broke out from 1970 onward. Compared to the 1970–1986 period, wildfires in the 1987–2003 time frame were four times as frequent and burned more than six times the acreage. The length of the wildfire season increased an average of 78 days.Source: Westerling et al. “Warming and Earlier Spring Increase Western U.S. Forest Wildfire Activity.” Science 18 August 2006: 313 (5789), 940-943. Published online,July 6, 2006.URL: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/313/5789/940.full.pdfNotes:
  • Narrative: Looking ahead, climate change is projected to make the West’s wildfire season even worse. This map shows how various ecoregions are expected to fare if global average temperatures increase by 1°C. In many areas, the median annual area burned is projected to increase more than 100 percent. Climate change is expected to make the Southwest drier, lead to more severe droughts, and cause a thinning of the mountain snowpack that delays the onset of fire season and supplies the bulk of the water in Western rivers and reservoirs.Source: Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millennia. National Research Council. 2011.URL: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12877Notes: Percent increase (relative to 1950-2003) in median annual area burned for ecoprovinces of the West with a 1°C increase in global average temperature. Changes in temperature and precipitation were aggregated to the ecoprovince level using the suite of models in the CMIP3 archive. Climate-fire models were derived from National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) climate division records and observed area burned data following methods discussed in Littell et al. (2009).
  • Narrative: Warming temperatures and the lack of deep freezes may be responsible for increased activity by mountain pine beetles and other forest insects. This photo shows dead lodgepole pines near Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.Source: WikipediaURL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mountain_pine_beetle_damage_in_Rocky_Mountain_National_Park.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dendroctonus_ponderosae.jpg
  • Narrative: Around the globe, forests have been experiencing die-offs that scientists attribute to drought and heat waves, both of which are expected to be on the rise in many parts of the West due to climate change. This map shows the location of dozens of tree mortality episodes that scientists have documented. The different colors represent varying types of drought and temperature anomalies. Source:Dr. Joerg Steinkamp, Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Wendy Peterman, Conservation Biology Institute.URL: http://app.databasin.org/app/pages/datasetPage.jsp?id=b2947eeae2e5488a86eacf0fcd4df7a4Notes: This dataset shows the locations of forest dieback documented in the 2010 paper: Allen , C. D., Macalady, A. K.,  Chenchouni, H., Bachelet, D., McDowell, N, Vennetier, M , Kitzberger, T, Rigling, A, Breshears, D. D., Hogg, E.H.,  Gonzalez, P., Fensham, R., Zhang, Z. , Castro, J, Demidova, N., Lim, J. H., Allard, G., Running, S. W., Semerci, A., Cobb, N. 2010. A global overview of drought and heat-induced tree mortality reveals emerging climate change risks for forests. Forest Ecology and Management 259(4): 660-684
  • Narrative: Here’s a closeup of the West. In Southwest Colorado, multi-year droughts with high spring and summer temperatures are thought to have caused the cases of tree mortality. Along the Mogollon Rim in Arizona and New Mexico, multi-year droughts with high temperatures were also linked to tree mortality.Source:Dr. Joerg Steinkamp, Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Wendy Peterman, Conservation Biology Institute.URL: http://app.databasin.org/app/pages/datasetPage.jsp?id=b2947eeae2e5488a86eacf0fcd4df7a4Notes: This dataset shows the locations of forest dieback documented in the 2010 paper: Allen , C. D., Macalady, A. K.,  Chenchouni, H., Bachelet, D., McDowell, N, Vennetier, M , Kitzberger, T, Rigling, A, Breshears, D. D., Hogg, E.H.,  Gonzalez, P., Fensham, R., Zhang, Z. , Castro, J, Demidova, N., Lim, J. H., Allard, G., Running, S. W., Semerci, A., Cobb, N. 2010. A global overview of drought and heat-induced tree mortality reveals emerging climate change risks for forests. Forest Ecology and Management 259(4): 660-684
  • Narrative: Insects and other biotic agents often play a major role in forest die-offs. High temperatures or drought conditions can weaken trees and make them more susceptible to infestation by bugs, some of which are native, some of which are exotic. In this map, hollow dots represent die-offs with no connection to biotic agents, and gray dots indicate where no biotic agents were linked to tree mortality. But at least in North America, many of the tree mortality events were connected to bark beetles and other biotic agents.Source:Dr. Joerg Steinkamp, Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Wendy Peterman, Conservation Biology Institute.URL: http://app.databasin.org/app/pages/datasetPage.jsp?id=b2947eeae2e5488a86eacf0fcd4df7a4Notes: This dataset shows the locations of forest dieback documented in the 2010 paper: Allen et al. A global overview of drought and heat-induced tree mortality reveals emerging climate change risks for forests. Forest Ecology and Management 259(4): 660-684. 2010.
  • Narrative: In this close-up of the West, you can see that bark beetles were connected to forest die-offs along the Mogollon Rim in Arizona, while wood borers were an influence in Southwest Colorado. In California, other insects were linked to the climate-related mortality events.Source:Dr. Joerg Steinkamp, Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Wendy Peterman, Conservation Biology Institute.URL: http://app.databasin.org/app/pages/datasetPage.jsp?id=b2947eeae2e5488a86eacf0fcd4df7a4Notes: This dataset shows the locations of forest dieback documented in the 2010 paper: Allen et al. A global overview of drought and heat-induced tree mortality reveals emerging climate change risks for forests. Forest Ecology and Management 259(4): 660-684. 2010.
  • Now let’s talk about what’s causing climate change: greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Narrative: This flow chart, created by the World Resources Institute, shows the sources of greenhouse gases in the U.S. economy and how they are produced. Nearly one third comes from providing electricity and heat to buildings, and more than a quarter is from transportation, mostly driving. Source: World Resources InstituteURL: http://www.wri.org/chart/us-greenhouse-gas-emissions-flow-chartNotes: This flow chart shows the sources and activities across the U.S. economy that produce greenhouse gas emissions. Energy use is by far responsible for the majority of greenhouse gases. Most activities produce greenhouse gases both directly, through on-site and transport use of fossil fuels, and indirectly from heat and electricity that comes “from the grid.” Emissions data comes from the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2003, U.S. EPA (using the CRF document). Allocations from “Electricity & Heat” and “Industry” to end uses are WRI estimates based on energy use data from the International Energy Agency (IEA, 2005). All data is for 2003. All calculations are based on CO2 equivalents, using 100-year global warming potentials from the IPCC (1996), based on total U.S. emissions of 6,978 MtCO2 equivalent. Emissions from fuels in international bunkers are included under Transportation. Emissions from solvents are included under Industrial Processes. Emissions and sinks from land use change and forestry (LUCF), which account for a sink of 821.6 MtCO2 equivalent, and flows less than 0.1 percent of total emissions are not shown.
  • Narrative: Nationally, three quarters of GHG emissions come from three sectors: electricity generation, transportation, and industrial operations. GHGs have risen steadily since 1990, with growth slowing in the mid-2000s, partly due to efficiency improvements in transportation and electricity sectors, and partially due to a slowing economy. The Western states’ source profile is very similar to that of the entire U.S. Source: World Resources Institute, Climate Indicators Tool,URL: http://www.wri.org/project/cait/; Database provided in direct communication from Thomas Damassa, Climate and Energy Program, WRI.Notes: Units are million metric tons of CO2 Equivalent.
  • Narrative: Here’s another view of how the West compares to the U.S. as a whole. The 11 Western states are responsible for about 17 percent of the total GHGs. Without California, the Western states would be about 10 percent of nationwide GHGs. Some sources are more prominent in the West and particularly in California (shown in green). Transportation stands out as a major source in California. Fugitive emissions from oil and gas drilling is especially prominent in the Western states, accounting for 42% of the U.S. total. Source: World Resources Institute, Climate Indicators Tool,URL: http://www.wri.org/project/cait/; Database provided in private communication from Thomas Damassa, Climate and Energy Program, WRI.Notes: Units are million metric tons of CO2 Equivalent. Fugitive emissions are difficult to quantify accurately. They are defined as “an intentional or unintentional release of gases from anthropogenic activities”, and are primarily estimated for the oil and natural gas industries. New Mexico and Wyoming are estimated to have significant fugitive emissions because of the high level of fuel extraction and power production that occurs in both states.
  • Narrative: Because most GHGs come from combustion of fuels for electricity and transportation, economic activity is highly correlated with GHGs. Not surprisingly, California is the largest source of GHGs in the West. Interestingly, California, Oregon, and Washington differ from more inland states in their source profile. Transportation makes up roughly half of all GHGs, whereas for inland states like Wyoming, Arizona, and Utah, electricity generation is the predominant source. California, while making many efficiency improvements to its electric grid, is also the largest importer of electricity from out of state: 30% of CA’s power comes from its northwest and southwest neighbors. Wyoming and Colorado on the other hand, export power. Source: World Resources Institute, Climate Indicators Tool,URL: http://www.wri.org/project/cait/; Database provided in private communication from Thomas Damassa, Climate and Energy Program, WRI. http://www.eia.gov/state/Notes: Units are million metric tons of CO2 Equivalent.
  • Narrative: Some states also have the capacity to absorb significant GHGs into forest systems and other potential GHG sinks.This slide illustrates how some states’ land use and development policies reduce their overall GHG footprint. Most notable are Oregon, Washington, and Montana, with each state’s net emissions reduced by roughly 35%, 50% and 90% respectively. While California’s land sinks reabsorbed almost as many GHGs as Montana’s did (~40 metric tons), the sheer size of California’s footprint muted the reduction to only 10% of statewide GHGs. Source: World Resources Institute, Climate Indicators Tool,URL: http://www.wri.org/project/cait/; Database provided in private communication from Thomas Damassa, Climate and Energy Program, WRI.Notes: Units are million metric tons of CO2 Equivalent.
  • Finally, let’s talk about some other forms of air pollution.
  • Narrative: This slide summarizes the major air pollutants, their sources, and their health effects. Many of these pollutants stem from fuel combustion.Source: U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyURL: http://www.epa.gov/air/airtrends/index.htmlNotes:
  • Narrative: The US continues to make progress on improving air quality since the Clean Air Act’s enactment in 1970. This graph from US EPAs Air Trends website displays how regulations and advancements in technology have led to efficiency improvements, lower emissions, and cleaner air. While the economy (GDP) has continued to grow, the aggregate emissions from the major criteria pollutants EPA regulates have shrunk by 60% since 1990. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyURL: http://www.epa.gov/air/airtrends/index.htmlNotes:
  • Narrative: Here is a closer look at national trends by each pollutant since 1990. The greatest progress is seen in Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) – a major precursor to acid rain. SO2 has diminished largely due to emission scrubbers on power plants, and advancements in manufacturing lower sulfur fuels. Progress is less substantial on ozone (O3) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5). A significant challenge with ozone and PM2.5 are their precursors. Put simply, pollutants are created either directly by emissions sources like power plants or indirectly when “precursor” pollutants mix together in the atmosphere, and chemically react to form a new pollutant. PM2.5 is emitted during combustion (vehicles, fires), but also forms in the atmosphere when volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide chemically react.Here we focus onlyon direct emissions, and therefore do not cover ozone, however ozone’s precursor pollutants (NOx, SOx) are discussed.Source:U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyURL: http://www.epa.gov/air/airtrends/index.html http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/2011/report/sixcommon.pdfNotes:Figure 4b Comparison of national levels of the six common pollutants to the most recent national ambient air quality standards, 1990-2010.  National levels are averages across all monitors with complete data for the time period.
  • Narrative: This graphic shows how air quality changed between 1980 and 2010, and between 2000 and 2010. There is no data for particulates in 1980. You can see that all of the major air pollutants have declined in recent decades. Source: Environmental Protection AgencyURL: http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/aqtrends.htmlNotes:EPA creates air quality trends using measurements from monitors located across the country. The table below shows that air quality based on concentrations of the common pollutants has improved nationally since 1980.
  • Narrative: Here’s a slightly different way of looking at the issue: the emissions sources responsible for each of the pollutants. Once again, there have been dramatic improvements in recent decades.Source: Environmental Protection AgencyURL: http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/aqtrends.htmlNotes: EPA estimates nationwide emissions of ambient air pollutants and the pollutants they are formed from (their precursors). These estimates are based on actual monitored readings or engineering calculations of the amounts and types of pollutants emitted by vehicles, factories, and other sources. Emission estimates are based on many factors, including levels of industrial activity, technological developments, fuel consumption, vehicle miles traveled, and other activities that cause air pollution.
  • Narrative: Although the nation’s air quality is clearly improving, tens of millions of Americans are still exposed to unhealthy air. In total, about 124 million people lived in counties that exceeded one or more federal health standards.Source: Environmental Protection AgencyURL: http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/aqtrends.html#comparison http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/2011/dl_graph.htmlNotes:Number of people (in millions) living in counties with air quality concentrations above the level of the primary (health-based) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in 2010.“Despite great progress in air quality improvement, approximately 124 million people nationwide lived in counties with pollution levels above the primary NAAQS in 2010.Note: In 2008, EPA strengthened the national standards for 8-hour ozone to 0.075 ppm and the national standards for lead to 0.15 µg/m3. This figure includes people living in counties that monitored ozone and lead concentrations above the new levels. In addition, from 1990 to 2005, emissions of air toxicsdeclined by approximately 42 percent. These reductions are the result of implementing stationary and mobile source regulations. The majority of the air toxics emitted in 2005 are also precursors of ozone and/or particle pollution.”
  • Narrative: This map shows the estimated cancer risk by census tract. In the West, areas around big cities, such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, and Portland, have higher rates of cancer associated with toxic air pollutants. Source: Environmental Protection AgencyURL: http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/2011/dl_graph.htmlNotes:Estimated census-tract cancer risk from the 2005 National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA2005).  Darker colors show greater cancer risk associated with toxic air pollutants.
  • Narrative: This map shows how many days on which a city’s air quality index exceeded 100, a level at which pollution can be unhealthy for sensitive groups. Los Angeles stands out as the Western city with the worst air pollution, while Seattle and Portland in the Pacific Northwest have relatively few bad air days. In general, the number of bad days has been decreasing over the past decade.Source: Environmental Protection AgencyURL: Notes:Number of days on which AQI values were greater than 100 during 2002-2010 in selected cities.
  • Narrative: Let’s take a look at the sources of air pollution, beginning with those that directly emit particulate matter, PM2.5. As you can see, not all states are equal contributors, and the source profiles by state also vary. California, the 8th largest economy in the world and most populous state, is not surprisingly the largest polluter. Within California, the sources are relatively evenly distributed. Note that fire and dust were significant in 2008. From 2007-2009, California was in a drought. Overall PM2.5 levels were higher in 2008 than in 2006 (as seen in our earlier slides) and the drought could have been a major reason why. Dust also is a major polluter in arid states like New Mexico. “All other sources” is made up of agriculture, industrial processes, solvents, and miscellaneous. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyURL: http://www.epa.gov/air/emissions/multi.htmNotes: Multi-Pollutant Comparison by Source Sector and by State, Short Tons. Relative sizes of the pies by state are calculated by ratio to the largest emitting state. In this case California.
  • Narrative: Next let’s look at NOx (oxides of nitrogen). NOx is important because along with VOCs and carbon monoxide, it is a major precursor to ozone. Ozone, while a critical element in the upper atmosphere is a pollutant at ground level – we usually observe it as smog. As you can see, California once again dwarfs the other states, and the primary culprit is mobile sources. This is the result of a large population doing a lot of driving in a sprawling state. There is also a lot of industry serving those people, and California houses the largest ports in the United States. Ships, trucks, trains, and supporting equipment, along with the vast number of passenger cars, are the reason California’s NOx levels loom large over other Western states. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyURL: http://www.epa.gov/air/emissions/multi.htmNotes: Multi-Pollutant Comparison by Source Sector and by State, Short Tons. Relative sizes of the pies by state are calculated by ratio to the largest emitting state, in this case California.
  • Narrative: California has done better with sulfur dioxide. As you can see here, the largest states for sulfur dioxide emissions are Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming. What these states have in common is coal. Coal power plants are the single largest source of anthropogenic sulfur dioxide. Wyoming not only gets 95% of its power from coal plants, but it’s also a major supplier of coal and is home of the Powder River Basin. If you look at Washington and California, mobile sources are one-third or more of sulfur dioxide emissions. Washington and California are not major coal burning states, but they are significant marine ports. The large freight ships that carry containers of goods between the U.S. and Asiaburn bunker fuel, which is inexpensive but very dirty, and has high sulfur content. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyURL: http://www.epa.gov/air/emissions/multi.htmNotes: Multi-Pollutant Comparison by Source Sector and by State, Short Tons. Relative sizes of the pies by state are calculated by ratio to the largest emitting state, in this case California.
  • Narrative: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are important because they’re a precursor to ozone and PM2.5. They are emitted in many consumer goods (cleaning fluids, paints, printing inks), as well as industrial sources and fuels.Because they are in pesticides, agriculture can also be a significant source in some states, like Idaho. Overall,VOCs are more of a concern for indoor than outdoor air quality: EPA has found that VOCs can be 2-5 times higher inside households than outside. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyURL: http://www.epa.gov/air/emissions/multi.htmNotes: Multi-Pollutant Comparison by Source Sector and by State, Short Tons. Relative sizes of the pies by state are calculated by ratio to the largest emitting state, in this case California.
  • Narrative: Carbon monoxide emissions have declined steeply, falling on average 80% below the national standard for CO over the last 20 years, due to advancements in vehicle technology and fuels. Though California remains the largest source for CO in the West due to the large number cars and trucks, it remains in compliance with EPA standards.Source: U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyURL: http://www.epa.gov/air/emissions/multi.htmNotes: Multi-Pollutant Comparison by Source Sector and by State, Short Tons. Relative sizes of the pies by state are calculated by ratio to the largest emitting state, in this case California.
  • Climate Change in the American West

    1. 1. Climate changein the West 1/20/13
    2. 2. EcoWest missionInform and advance conservation in the AmericanWest by analyzing, visualizing, and sharing dataon environmental trends. 1/20/13
    3. 3. EcoWest decks This is one of six presentations that illustrate key environmental metrics. Libraries for each topic contain additional slides. Issue Sample metrics Water Per capita water consumption, price of water, trends in transfers Biodiversity Number of endangered species, government funding for species protection Wildfires Size and number of wildfires, suppression costs Land Area protected by land trusts, location of proposed wilderness areas Climate Precipitation models, expected impacts Politics Conservation funding, public opinion Download presentations and libraries at ecowest.org 1/20/13
    4. 4. Table of contents 1. Temperature 2. Precipitation 3. Water impacts 4. Biodiversity impacts 5. Wildfire impacts 6. Greenhouse gases 7. Other air pollution 1/20/13
    5. 5. Key points • Temperature: – The West is already warming faster than many parts of the country and even higher temperatures are expected in the decades to come • Precipitation – Models predict the Southwest will get drier and the Pacific Northwest will get wetter, but the projections elsewhere are more ambiguous • Water impacts – Changes to the vital winter snowpack and the timing of the spring snowmelt will pose challenges to aquatic species and water managers • Biodiversity impacts – Plants and animals are expected to move upslope and toward the North Pole in response to the changing climate but many barriers stand in the way • Wildfire impacts – Warmer temperatures and a thinner snowpack will continue to make the West’s wildfire season longer and more destructive. • Greenhouse gases – Power plants, transportation, and industry account for the great majority of GHG emissions in the West, where only a few states have significant carbon sinks • Other air pollution – The nation has made significant progress in addressing many types of air pollution, but millions of Westerners remain at risk from airborne toxics 1/20/13
    6. 6. TEMPERATURE 1/20/13
    7. 7. 125 years of warming in 30 seconds Source: NASA 1/20/13
    8. 8. U.S. average temperatures: 1951-2006Averagetemperature (˚F) Source: Climate Wizard 1/20/13
    9. 9. Projected temperature change by 2080sHigh emissions (A2) scenarioMean temperaturedeparture (˚F) Source: Climate Wizard 1/20/13
    10. 10. Days above 90°FSource: U.S. Global Change Research Program 1/20/13
    11. 11. Hours per day above 100°F in Phoenix Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program 1/20/13
    12. 12. PRECIPITATION 1/20/13
    13. 13. US average precipitation: 1951-2002 100th MeridianAnnual precipitation(inches) Source: Climate Wizard 1/20/13
    14. 14. U.S. average precipitation change: 1951-2002Average precipitation change(inches) Source: Climate Wizard 1/20/13
    15. 15. Precipitation change by 2080s:Low emissions (B1) scenarioAverage precipitation change(millimeters) Source: Climate Wizard 1/20/13
    16. 16. Precipitation change by 2080s:High emissions (A2) scenario Average precipitation change (millimeters) Source: Climate Wizard 1/20/13
    17. 17. Projected precipitation changes: 2080-2099 Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program 1/20/13
    18. 18. Most of Southwest expected to get drier Source: Tetra Tech , Natural Resources Defense Council 1/20/13
    19. 19. WATER IMPACTS 1/20/13
    20. 20. Climate change effects on water cycle Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program 1/20/13
    21. 21. Changes in snowfall: 1949-2005 Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program 1/20/13
    22. 22. Trends in April 1 snowpack: 1950-2002 Decrease Increase Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program 1/20/13
    23. 23. Trends in peak streamflow timingObserved trends: 1948-2002 Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program 1/20/13
    24. 24. Trends in peak streamflow timingProjected trends: 2080-2099 Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program 1/20/13
    25. 25. Projected changes in median runoff:2041-2060 vs. 1901-1970 Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program 1/20/13
    26. 26. BIODIVERSITY IMPACTS 1/20/13
    27. 27. Temperature and precipitation limit plant distribution Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program 1/20/13
    28. 28. U.S. average temperatures: 1951-2006 Mount Whitney, 14,505 feet Death Valley, -282 feet Source: Climate Wizard 1/20/13
    29. 29. Average precipitation: 1951-2002Annualprecip.(inches) Source: Climate Wizard 1/20/13
    30. 30. Climate change andincreasing CO2 willshift mosaic ofecosystems Source: U.S. Forest Service 1/20/13
    31. 31. Decreasing habitat for coldwater fish Source: U.S. Global Change Research Program 1/20/13
    32. 32. Birds are already on the move Source: Associated Press, Audubon Society, NOAA 1/20/13
    33. 33. Pika’s habitat threatened by climate change Source: Photo by Mitch Tobin 1/20/13
    34. 34. Projected change in suitable habitat for pika 1/20/13
    35. 35. Whitebark pine: current viability Source: Crookston et al. (2010) 1/20/13
    36. 36. Whitebark pine: 2090 viability Source: Crookston et al. (2010) 1/20/13
    37. 37. WILDFIRE IMPACTS 1/20/13
    38. 38. Wildfires are arriving earlier and lasting longer Source: Westerling et al. (2006) 1/20/13
    39. 39. Change in burned area projected from 1°C warming Source: National Research Council 1/20/13
    40. 40. Mountain pine beetle attacking lodgepole forests 1/20/13
    41. 41. Climate anomalies connected to tree mortality Source: Biodiversity and Climate Research Center, Conservation Biology Institute 1/20/13
    42. 42. Climate anomalies connected to tree mortality Source: Biodiversity and Climate Research Center, Conservation Biology Institute 1/20/13
    43. 43. Biotic agents and climate-related tree mortality Source: Biodiversity and Climate Research Center, Conservation Biology Institute 1/20/13
    44. 44. Biotic agents and climate-related tree mortality Source: Biodiversity and Climate Research Center, Conservation Biology Institute 1/20/13
    45. 45. GREENHOUSE GASES 1/20/13
    46. 46. Sectors and sources for U.S. GHG emissions 1/20/13
    47. 47. GHG trends by sector United States Western States Electricity Generation Transportation Industrial Residential Commercial Fugitive Emissions 8000 1400 7000 1200 6000 1000 5000 MMTCO2EMMTCO2E 800 4000 3000 600 2000 400 1000 200 0 1990 1995 2000 2005 2006 2009 0 1990 1995 2000 2005 2009 Source: World Resources Institute 1/20/13
    48. 48. GHG emissions: California, the West, and the U.S.2800 California Total Western States Rest of US1800MMTCO2E 800 Land Sinks -200 Power Transport Residential Commercial Industrial Fugitive Industrial Agriculture Waste Plants Gasses-1200 Source: World Resources Institute 1/20/13
    49. 49. Western states’ GHG emissions: 2008 Electricity generation Transportation Fugitive emissions Residential Industrial processes Commercial Agriculture Circle sizes show states’ relative emissions Industrial Waste Source: World Resources Institute 1/20/13
    50. 50. GHG emissions in 2008, adjusted for land sinks Sink Non- Circle sizes show states’ sink relative emissions Source: World Resources Institute 1/20/13
    51. 51. OTHER AIR POLLUTION 1/20/13
    52. 52. Sources and health effects of air pollution Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1/20/13
    53. 53. Air quality improving even as economy grows Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1/20/13
    54. 54. National levels of six common pollutants Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1/20/13
    55. 55. Improvements in air quality: 1980-2010 1980 vs. 2010 Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) (24-hr) PM2.5 (24-hr) PM2.5 (annual) PM10 (24-hr) Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) (annual) Lead (Pb) Ozone (O3) (8-hr) Carbon Monoxide (CO) -100% -90% -80% -70% -60% -50% -40% -30% -20% -10% 0% 2000 vs. 2010 Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) (24-hr) PM2.5 (24-hr) PM2.5 (annual) PM10 (24-hr) Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) (annual) Lead (Pb) Ozone (O3) (8-hr) Carbon Monoxide (CO) -70% -60% -50% -40% -30% -20% -10% 0% Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1/20/13
    56. 56. Trends in emissions sources 1980 vs. 2010 Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Direct PM2.5 Direct PM10 Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) Lead (Pb) Carbon Monoxide (CO) -120.0% -100.0% -80.0% -60.0% -40.0% -20.0% 0.0% 2000 vs. 2010 Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Direct PM2.5 Direct PM10 Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) Lead (Pb) Carbon Monoxide (CO) -60.0% -50.0% -40.0% -30.0% -20.0% -10.0% 0.0% Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1/20/13
    57. 57. But millions still exposed to unhealthy air Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1/20/13
    58. 58. Cancer risk associated with toxic air pollutants Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1/20/13
    59. 59. Number of bad air days 2002-2010 Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1/20/13
    60. 60. PM 2.5 emissions: 2008 Fuel combustion Mobile sources Dust Fire All other soureces Circle sizes show states’ relative emissions Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1/20/13
    61. 61. NOx emissions: 2008 Fuel Combustion Mobile sources Fire All other sources Circle sizes show states’ relative emissions Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1/20/13
    62. 62. SO2 emissions: 2008 Fuel combustion Mobile sources Fire Industrial Processes Circle sizes show states’ relative emissions Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1/20/13
    63. 63. VOC emissions:VOC Emissions 2008 2008 Fuel combustion Mobile sources Agriculture Fire Industrial Processes Solvents Circle sizes show states’ relative emissions Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1/20/13
    64. 64. Carbon Monoxide Emissions 2008CO emissions: 2008 Fuel combustion Mobile sources All other sources Circle sizes show states’ relative emissions Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1/20/13
    65. 65. Download more slides and other libraries ecowest.org 1/20/13
    66. 66. EcoWest advisors Jon Christensen, Adjunct Assistant Professor and Pritzker Fellow at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and Department of History at UCLA; former director of Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford. Bruce Hamilton, Deputy Executive Director for the Sierra Club, where he has worked for more than 35 years; member of the World Commission on Protected Areas; former Field Editor for High Country News. Robert Glennon, Regents’ Professor and Morris K. Udall Professor of Law and Public Policy, Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona; author of Water Follies and Unquenchable. 1/20/13
    67. 67. EcoWest advisors Jonathan Hoekstra, head of WWF’s Conservation Science Program, lead author of The Atlas of Global Conservation, and former Senior Scientist at The Nature Conservancy. Timothy Male, Vice President of Conservation Policy for Defenders of Wildlife, where he directs the Habitat and Highways, Conservation Planning, Federal Lands, Oregon Biodiversity Partnership, and Economics programs. Thomas Swetnam, Regents Professor of Dendrochronology, Director of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona, and a leading expert on wildfires and Western forests. 1/20/13
    68. 68. Contributors at California Environmental Associates Mitch Tobin Editor of EcoWest.org Communications Director at CEA Micah Day Associate at CEA Matthew Elliott Principal at CEA Max Levine Associate at CEA Caroline Ott Research Associate at CEA Sarah Weldon Affiliated consultant at CEA 1/20/13
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