By Jonathan Overpeck, Gregg Garfin, Angela Jardine, David E. Busch, Dan Cayan (auth.), Dr. Gregg Garfin, Angela Jardine, Robert Merideth, Mary Black, Sarah LeRoy (eds.)
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Extra info for Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States: A Report Prepared for the National Climate Assessment
9°F in 2070-2099. High 5; 6 Freeze-free season length Increase Yes, the freeze-free season for the Southwest increased about 7% (17 days) during 2001–2010 compared to the average season length for 1901–2000. Model projections using a high emissions scenario (A2) show that by 2041–2070, most of the region exhibits increases of at least 17 freeze-free days, with some parts of the interior showing 38-day increases. High 5; 6 Heat waves Increase Yes. More heat waves occurred over the Southwest during 2001–2010 compared to average occurrences in the twentieth century.
1 Current and predicted climate phenomena trends discussed in this report (Continued) Projected Change Parameter Direction of Change Is it Occurring? Remarks Confidence Chapter Snowmelt and streamflow timing Earlier Yes, snowmelt and snowmelt-fed streamflow in many streams of the Southwest trended towards earlier arrivals in the late-twentieth century and early twenty-first century. Not analyzed in this report, but implied by projections of diminished April 1 snow water equivalent in most Southwest river basins.
Effects of climate change on the lands and people of Southwestern Native nations are likely to be greater than elsewhere because of endangered cultural practices, limited water rights, and social, economic, and political marginalization, all of which are relatively common among indigenous people (high confidence). 5 Choices for Adjusting to Climate and Climate Change A century of economic and population growth in the Southwest has already placed pressures on water resources, energy supplies, and ecosystems.