Region-specific climate modeling studied

Oct 31, 2005

University of California-Santa Cruz scientists say human-caused climate change might pose an even greater than previously thought.

Impending climate change is expected to cause shifts in species habitat ranges, but the global climate modeling used to estimate such changes often fails to distinguish ecologically important features, such as mountain ranges and valleys, scientists said. But regional climate models may be able to focus on such details.

To test the difference between predictions based on such climate models, Lara Kueppers and colleagues analyzed the projected shifts in two California oak species resulting from climate changes expected during the next 100 years.

Using the regional climate model and a routine scenario of greenhouse gas emissions, the researchers determined potential future ranges of the oaks would shrink to 54 percent to 59 percent of their current range sizes. By contrast, the global climate model predicted the oaks would maintain up to 80 percent of their current range sizes.

The scientists say the results highlight the importance of using region-specific climate models whenever possible in planning conservation efforts.

The study is detailed in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Close encounters: Comet siding spring seen next to mars

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Climate change alters cast of winter birds

9 hours ago

Over the past two decades, the resident communities of birds that attend eastern North America's backyard bird feeders in winter have quietly been remade, most likely as a result of a warming climate.

Rock-dwelling microbes remove methane from deep sea

Oct 15, 2014

Methane-breathing microbes that inhabit rocky mounds on the seafloor could be preventing large volumes of the potent greenhouse gas from entering the oceans and reaching the atmosphere, according to a new ...

What do wildfires have to do with climate change?

Oct 14, 2014

As the western U.S. faces its third year of severe drought, firefighters are still battling two large fires in California. The state, which is experiencing its worst drought since record keeping began in ...

Building a bridge from basic botany to applied agriculture

Oct 14, 2014

One of the planet's leading questions is how to produce enough food to feed the world in an increasingly variable climate. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations predicts that food production ...

City life key to harlequin ladybird invasion

Oct 12, 2014

A new paper published in the Journal of Biogeography today concludes that the harlequin ladybird, an invasive alien species first recorded in the UK in 2004, has a preference for urban areas and sunnier habita ...

Recommended for you

Asteroid 2014 SC324 zips by Earth Friday afternoon

1 hour ago

What a roller coaster week it's been. If partial eclipses and giant sunspots aren't your thing, how about a close flyby of an Earth-approaching asteroid?  2014 SC324 was discovered on September 30 this ...

Who owns space?

1 hour ago

The golden age of planetary exploration had voyagers navigating new sea routes to uncharted territory. These territories were then claimed in the name of the monarchs who had financed the expeditions. All ...

User comments : 0