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.
Rocky Mountain Climate
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.