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Analog analyses of 21st century simulations (and modern control experiments)

PI: Jack Williams
Institution: University of Wisconson-Madison
Additional Investigators: Steve Jackson
Abstract:
We are interested in conducting analog analyses of the 21st century simulations (and modern control experiments), to assess whether some regions of the world may experience 21st century climates outside the modern climate envelope. Our interest relates to the ecological impacts of climate change: analyses of fossil pollen records and GCM simulations suggest that late-glacial plant communities with no modern counterpart in North America grew in response to climates more seasonal than any experienced in NA today (Williams et al. 2001). Similar patterns are observed in mammalian community structure. If 'no-analog' climates occur in the future, one likely ecological consequence is the development of novel floral and faunal communities. Novel future climates also challenge our ability to forecast ecological (and social) responses to future climate change. This project will seek to 1) identify whether 'no-analog' future climates are likely and 2) if so, identify areas and ecosystems that may be particularly vulnerable. Analyses would use dissimilarity metrics to 1) calculate local rates of climate change between 2000 and 2100AD and 2) calculate the distance between 2100AD climate gridpoints and their closest modern analogs in order to assess whether 2100AD climates are outside the modern climate space.
Publications:
  • Williams, J. W., and S. T. Jackson, 2007: Novel Climates, No-Analog Communities, and Ecological Surprises: Past and Future. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Submitted. Abstract. Edit.
  • Williams, J.W., S.T. Jackson, and J.E. Kutzbach, 2007: Projected distribution of novel and disappearing climates by 2100 AD. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In press. Abstract. Edit.

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