Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 109, Issue 3–4, pp 345–360 | Cite as

Analyzing projected changes and trends of temperature and precipitation in the southern USA from 16 downscaled global climate models

  • Lu Liu
  • Yang Hong
  • James E. Hocker
  • Mark A. Shafer
  • Lynne M. Carter
  • Jonathan J. Gourley
  • Christopher N. Bednarczyk
  • Bin Yong
  • Pradeep Adhikari
Original Paper

Abstract

This study aims to examine how future climate, temperature and precipitation specifically, are expected to change under the A2, A1B, and B1 emission scenarios over the six states that make up the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP): Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Mississippi. SCIPP is a member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-funded Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments network, a program which aims to better connect climate-related scientific research with in-the-field decision-making processes. The results of the study found that the average temperature over the study area is anticipated to increase by 1.7°C to 2.4°C in the twenty-first century based on the different emission scenarios with a rate of change that is more pronounced during the second half of the century. Summer and fall seasons are projected to have more significant temperature increases, while the northwestern portions of the region are projected to experience more significant increases than the Gulf coast region. Precipitation projections, conversely, do not exhibit a discernible upward or downward trend. Late twenty-first century exhibits slightly more precipitation than the early century, based on the A1B and B1 scenario, and fall and winter are projected to become wetter than the late twentieth century as a whole. Climate changes on the city level show that greater warming will happened in inland cities such as Oklahoma City and El Paso, and heavier precipitation in Nashville. These changes have profound implications for local water resources management as well as broader regional decision making. These results represent an initial phase of a broader study that is being undertaken to assist SCIPP regional and local water planning efforts in an effort to more closely link climate modeling to longer-term water resources management and to continue assessing climate change impacts on regional hazards management in the South.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lu Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yang Hong
    • 1
  • James E. Hocker
    • 2
  • Mark A. Shafer
    • 2
  • Lynne M. Carter
    • 3
  • Jonathan J. Gourley
    • 4
  • Christopher N. Bednarczyk
    • 1
  • Bin Yong
    • 5
    • 1
  • Pradeep Adhikari
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Civil Engineering and Environmental ScienceUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA
  2. 2.Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program, Oklahoma Climate SurveyUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA
  3. 3.Southern Climate Impacts Planning ProgramLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  4. 4.NOAA/National Severe Storms LaboratoryNormanUSA
  5. 5.State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic EngineeringHohai UniversityNanjingChina

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