92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Thursday, 26 January 2012
Impacts of Climate Change on California Ecosystems As Modeled by the Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System (TOPS)
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Katherine Pitts, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX; and M. Little, M. Loewenstein, L. Iraci, C. Milesi, C. Schmidt, and J. W. Skiles

This project analyzes results from the Terrestrial Observation and Predictions System (TOPS) model, which incorporates the A1B and A2 IPCC scenarios for climate and land use projections from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) global climate model. The California data is broken up into climate regions and watersheds of interest, and for each zone a statistical analysis is completed for climatological and ecological variables. Impacts on ecological variables are analyzed both under climate change scenarios only and coupled climate/land use change scenarios. Trends produced from this analysis show that increases in maximum and minimum temperatures lead to declines in peak GPP, length of growing seasons, and overall declines in runoff. However, changes in climate coupled with increases in impervious area due to intense urbanization are associated with an increase in winter runoff in scenario A2. The analysis is in support of the Climate Adaptation Science Investigation at NASA Ames Research Center, which is located within the Coyote Watershed of California. One result for this watershed shows that with projections of increased temperatures and increased urbanization there would be an extended dry summer season, which could threaten water availability. To counter this risk at NASA Ames Research Center, a study of the irrigation system was done to evaluate the amount of total water used for irrigation, and possible options for water conservation at the Center are considered to build a sustainable facility in a changing environment.

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