The regional model yields a climate scenario in which the future range for blue oak shrinks to 59 percent of its current range. For valley oak, the future range shrinks to 54 percent of its current range.
Analysis of the plant fossils showed that the plants from before and after the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum were from typical forests for the time, containing relatives of dawn redwood, alder, sycamore, walnut and sassafras.
Overall precipitation by mid-May remained below average and high-country snowpack levels were low and quickly depleting, making water-use efficiency key as summer approached.
Droughts tend to be linked to warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic Ocean, not just cooling in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
Colorado’s snowpack is critical because it provides the majority of Colorado’s year-round water supply, melting into rivers, streams and reservoirs.
Scientists used the NCAR climate system model to track how global air and ocean circulation could evolve at increasing levels of CO2.
The study suggested that the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains and the Southwest are stricken by the same “mega-drought” when for multiple years the tropical Pacific turns cold at the same time that the North Atlantic warms.
Surface and atmospheric temperatures have risen in western Canada since the middle of the 19th century.
The projected sea-level rise is due to a revised estimate of the ice melt from glaciers.
Researchers assessed a body of long-term data including temperatures, sea ice and ocean structure, snow and glacier cover, and atmospheric circulation.