USGCRP logo & link to home

Updated 12 October, 2003

US National Assessment of
the Potential Conse19 August, 2004 Educational Resources
Regional Paper: Pacific Northwest

 

Back to Table of Contents

 

 

 

 

"...until climate models that can resolve regional scales are available, these models offer the best `what if' scenarios available for consideration of vulnerabilities to climate change."

 

 

Note about General Circulation Models

This paper's discussion about possible futures and their implications was taken from different sources based on a variety of general circulation models (GCMs) but is particularly based on the results of the Hadley Centre and Canadian Centre model simulations used by the National Assessment process. GCMs are tools used by scientists to construct plausible estimates of potential changes in climate. It is generally agreed that these models provide reasonable estimates of changes at the global and latitudinal scale.

However, for a variety of reasons, significant differences can exist on a regional scale between model outputs. Among these reasons are limits in the computational resources needed to resolve regional-scale topography and surface features. Because GCMs are coarse and do not accurately represent changes at the regional scale, caution should be used in interpreting the details of outputs from these models. However, until climate models that can resolve regional scales are available, these models offer the best “what if -- scenarios available for consideration of vulnerabilities to climate change.

The discussion describes plausible futures given our current understanding; however, these projections should not be considered definitive predictions of changes and effects.

For background information on scenarios used in this assessment, see About Scenarios and Uncertainty and  Tools for Assessing Climate Change Impacts in the National Assessment Overview report.

Jump to top of page


 

 

 

USGCRP logo & link to homeUS Climate Change Science Program / US Global Change Research Program, Suite 250, 1717 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: +1 202 223 6262. Fax: +1 202 223 3065. Email: information@usgcrp.gov. Web: www.usgcrp.gov. Webmaster: