Climate is changing—throughout the Rockies, across the United States, and for the planet as a whole. Temperatures are increasing, rainfall patterns are shifting, and extreme precipitation and heat wave events are becoming more frequent. To ensure the health of our economy, the sustainability of our natural resources, and the resilience of our ecosystems, we need to understand and prepare for what our future climate will be like — not just for the world as a whole, but right here in the places where we live. Developing high-resolution projections, however, is a challenging task, riddled with uncertainties.
Using practical examples from my work with cities, states, and a broad range of stakeholders across the U.S., I will describe the models and methods used to develop local to regional-scale climate projections. I’ll also discuss how this information can be used to help real people, from wine growers in California to water managers in Texas, prepare for a changing climate.