Bureau of Reclamation Releases Updated Climate Data for Water Managers


From email from the Bureau of Reclamation (Peter Soeth):

The Bureau of Reclamation and collaborators developed new downscaled climate projections that allow water managers to incorporate the new Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project Phase 5 data from the World Climate Research Program into their water management planning. The data, representing 234 contemporary climate projections for the contiguous United States, was downscaled to a 12 kilometer resolution in order to be more useful to water managers.

“CMIP5 projections represent a new source of information about how a changing climate may impact water supplies in the United States,” Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor said. “Reclamation and its partners are taking leading roles to develop an understanding on how this new information complements previous climate projections made available through CMIP3, and on how CMIP5 projections should be considered in water planning and management.”

The World Climate Research Program develops global climate projections through its CMIP roughly every five to seven years. Results from CMIP3 were released in 2007 and later used in Reclamation research and assessments including the 2011 SECURE Water Act Report and WaterSMART Basin Studies completed in the Colorado, Yakima and St Mary River – Milk River Basins.

“CMIP5 includes more comprehensive global climate models, updated greenhouse gas emissions scenarios and a broader set of experiments to address a wider variety of science questions,” Acting Science Adviser Levi Brekke said. “Through the West-Wide Climate Risk Assessment Implementation Team, Reclamation will consider best approaches for using CMIP5 projections in the future.”

Reclamation, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Santa Clara University, Climate Central, Climate Analytics Group, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers developed the new downscaled data collaboratively supported by funding from a WaterSMART Climate Analysis Tools Grant and Reclamation’s Science and Technology Program.

The new downscaled climate projections are available at: http://gdo-dcp.ucllnl.org/downscaled_cmip_projections/.

More Bureau of Reclamation coverage here.

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