Historical and Projected Climates as a Basis for Climate Change Exposure and Adaptation Potential across the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative
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Global temperatures have risen over the last few decades, and even the most conservative climate models project these trends to continue over the next eighty-five years (IPCC 2013). As climate changes, flora and fauna will be forced to adapt or migrate (Aitken et al. 2008). Many species have been able to adapt to past changes in climate, moving south during glacial periods and north during interglacial periods. However, anthropogenic climate change in most areas is occurring much faster than previous climatic shifts. Flora, in particular, may be unable to adapt or disperse quickly enough to track suitable climate conditions (Corlett and Westcott 2013). Understanding historical and projected future trends in temperature, precipitation, and other climate variables is important for evaluating the current context and likely consequences of climate changes in national parks, and in developing effective strategies for climate adaptation.
KeywordsInternal Climate Variability Great Smoky Mountain Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Great Smoky Mountain National Park Downscaled Climate Projection
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