Tag Archives: Climate Change

Early preparation for water transfers could reduce drought impacts for agriculture and fish

By Georgine Yorgey

Reprinted from: WSU CSANR Perspectives on Sustainability

High value tree fruit may get priority when it comes to water in drought years. Photo: L. Seaton

High value tree fruit may get priority when it comes to water in drought years. Photo: L. Seaton

As this hot, dry summer winds down across Washington State, many areas are continuing to struggle with the impacts of drought. (Those who would like a recap of August weather and drought conditions can see the WSU Drought Report here.)

Unfortunately, while the weather has become more fall-like, with welcome rain in some areas, all climate indicators point towards increased chance of warmer and somewhat drier than normal conditions through mid-2016 – as shown in the three month forecast from the Climate Prediction Center (see the maps below). Continue reading

Victim, Contributor, Solver

By David Schmidt

Reprinted from: Animal Ag

Thumbnail for 91380I was at a Climate Convening yesterday in a small city in Southern Minnesota (Owatonna). I was invited to facilitate a small group discussion on agriculture and climate change. I was talking with one of the conference organizers before the meeting about agriculture and climate change and she came up with the line that agriculture is victim, contributor, and solver when it comes to climate change. I think it describes the situation well.

Victim: Victim is easy to see. There is no doubt about the connection between agriculture and climate. Continue reading

Climate Impacts Modeling 101: Interpreting What Models Say About the Future of Our Region Under Climate Change

By Liz Allen

Reprinted from: WSU CSANR Perspectives on Sustainability

Thumbnail for 91152As a PhD student with CSANR interested in improving communication about climate and agriculture between the academic and decision-making spheres, I’ve had a lot of conversations about climate models with agricultural producers, industry representatives, policy makers and regulatory officials (as well as with modelers themselves!). In the course of those conversations it has become clear that accessible explanations of how climate models are developed and how the results from climate change projections ought to be interpreted are lacking.

A team of us affiliated with WSU’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources and the BioEarth research project set out to create a guide to climate modeling intended for agricultural and natural resource decision makers in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Using examples from the 2011 Columbia River Basin Long-Term Water Supply and Demand Forecast, we describe:

  • What process-based models are
  • How global climate change projections are downscaled and applied in regional climate impacts analyses
  • The importance of understanding scale
  • How uncertainty is handled and communicated in model outputs
  • Applications of results from process-based models

This concise overview guide is the product of collaboration between modelers who specialize in agricultural, hydrological and economic systems and science communicators. We hope this will be a valuable reference resource to a wide range of people interested in understanding and using climate models. So go grab yourself a cup of coffee, give it a read and let us know what you think and what questions you have.