Sunday, August 17, 2008

American SW and N. Mexico will be climate 'hotspots'

Climate will be changing the most in the American Southwest and northwestern Mexico, according to a new study in press in Geophysical Research Letters.

The research team developed a new technique combining forecasts from 15 new global models run for last year's IPCC report to identify hotspots based on the magnitude of temperature and precipitation response to greenhouse gas emissions. They describe this as "climate responsiveness" [right, Purdue Univ.].

"We identified areas likely to be most responsive to changes in greenhouse gas emissions. This study provides information at the state-scale, as opposed to a global or regional average, which could be useful for climate change policy," according to study lead author Noah Diffenbaugh.

Diffenbaugh said "we see the same hotspot patterns even at lower greenhouse gas concentrations. This suggests that we may be able to see these hotspots emerging already."

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