U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Mountain Snow Pack Projected to Decline
Published: May 01, 2006
Posted: May 23, 2006

A global climate model with an embedded downscaling scheme predicts that regional mean mountain snow pack would decline by up to 50-80% for many regions of the globe over the next century in response to a scenario of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Previous studies with regional climate models have suggested similar reductions for selected regions and decades in the 21st century. Now, for the first time, a global climate model provides global estimates of snowmelt with 5 km spatial resolution for the period 1980-2100. Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory added a physically-based downscaling scheme to the Community Climate System Model (CCSM), and used the model to simulate the climate for the period 1980-2100 using an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scenario of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations during this period as a climate forcing. The downscaling scheme used was fully interactive with the atmosphere and land components of the CCSM and provided global 5 km spatial resolution for any climate variable. Snow pack is most sensitive to spatial resolution because of its dependence on both temperature and precipitation, both of which also depend on surface elevation.

Reference: Ghan, S. J., and T. Shippert. 2006. "Physically-based global downscaling: Climate change projections for a full century," J. Climate 19 15891604.

Contact: Anjuli Bamzai, SC-23.3, (301) 903-0294
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling
  • Research Area: Terrestrial Ecosystem Science

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER
      (formerly SC-23.3 Climate Change Research Division, OBER)

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

May 10, 2019
Quantifying Decision Uncertainty in Water Management via a Coupled Agent-Based Model
Considering risk perception can improve the representation of human decision-making processes in age [more...]

May 09, 2019
Projecting Global Urban Area Growth Through 2100 Based on Historical Time Series Data and Future Scenarios
Study provides country-specific urban area growth models and the first dataset on country-level urba [more...]

May 05, 2019
Calibrating Building Energy Demand Models to Refine Long-Term Energy Planning
A new, flexible calibration approach improved model accuracy in capturing year-to-year changes in bu [more...]

May 03, 2019
Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of Demeter for Better Downscaling of Global Land Use and Land Cover Projections
Researchers improved the Demeter model’s performance by calibrating key parameters and establi [more...]

Apr 22, 2019
Representation of U.S. Warm Temperature Extremes in Global Climate Model Ensembles
Representation of warm temperature events varies considerably among global climate models, which has [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)