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Climate Changes in Coastal Areas of Patagonia: Observed Trends and Future Projections

Part of the Natural and Social Sciences of Patagonia book series (NSSP)

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to describe climate characteristics since the Anthropocene inception and to assess expected climate changes in Patagonia, with emphasis on coastal areas. The climate in Patagonia has warmed up since 1950, and this trend is expected to continue in the future. However, the situation is slightly different in coastal areas where temperature trends are weaker and even negative in several locations, while future projections indicate an increase in mean temperature. Although precipitation in coastal areas is scarce and there is a large interannual variability, recent trends indicate a slight decrease, and future projections show wetter conditions in coastal areas north of 44°S and dryer conditions in southern regions. Additionally, precipitation extreme events are expected to increase in the future. Regarding wind intensity, there is a clear negative trend for most of the coastal areas except for the southern tip, and this pattern will continue during the twenty-first century. Trends and projections in the climate of coastal areas could be related with changes in the large-scale circulation variability patterns. The most relevant is associated with the impact of the significant trend toward positive polarity of the Southern Annular Mode during the second half of the twentieth century.

Keywords

  • Southern South America
  • Climate trends
  • Climate projections
  • Large-scale circulation variability

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Acknowledgments

This research was funded by FONCYT Grants PICT 2018–03538 and by the Network for the Conservation of Patagonian River Ecosystems (CONICET and The Nature Conservancy) (Resolution 3213/2). This research is also framed within the P-UE CONICET No. 22,920,160,100,044. Thanks go to the CORDEX Project and partner institutions for making climate data available. Thanks to the National Meteorological Service of Argentina for providing meteorological data from weather stations. We thank Dra. Silvia Flaherty, Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco, for her writing assistance and kind support.

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Pessacg, N., Blázquez, J., Lancelotti, J., Solman, S. (2022). Climate Changes in Coastal Areas of Patagonia: Observed Trends and Future Projections. In: Helbling, E.W., Narvarte, M.A., González, R.A., Villafañe, V.E. (eds) Global Change in Atlantic Coastal Patagonian Ecosystems. Natural and Social Sciences of Patagonia. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-86676-1_2

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