J2.2 Comparing Mid-Century Climate Change Projections at Convective Resolving Scales (2-km) for Life Zones Within Puerto Rico

Tuesday, 24 January 2017: 10:45 AM
602 (Washington State Convention Center )
Jared H. Bowden, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC; and A. M. Wootten, A. Terando, R. P. Boyles, V. Misra, and A. Bhardwaj

Puerto Rico is home to over 3.5 million people and numerous native plant and animal species that are at risk as a result of a shift in the climate.  This study downscales three CMIP5 Global Circulation Models (GCMs) to a 2-km horizontal resolution using different regional climate models (RCMs) to resolve the island’s climate.   Here we compare projected climate change from a single GCM, CCSM4, from the two RCMs centered on the mid-century, 2041-2060, for a high greenhouse gas emission scenario, RCP8.5.   We will discuss similarities and differences in ecologically relevant climate variables, which were defined based on interaction with scientists (e.g., ecologists, biologists) concerned with climate change for current life zones within Puerto Rico.  Notable differences in downscaled climate change projections include regions with critical ecosystems, such as the El Yunque National Forest in northeast Puerto Rico.  This study helps to highlight RCMs structural uncertainty at convective resolving scales
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