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Browse publications gathered by the California Energy Commission that focus on climate change issues relevant to the State of California. Find both PIER research papers as well as relevant articles published in peer reviewed journals.

Publications Published in 2014

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  1. Spatially heterogeneous impact of climate change on small mammals of montane California. Kevin C. Rowe, Karen M. C. Rowe, Morgan W. Tingley, Michelle S. Koo, James L. Patton, Chris J. Conroy, John D. Perrine, Steven R. Beissinger, and Craig Moritz .
    : 2014
    DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1857
    <p id="p-2">Resurveys of historical collecting localities have revealed range shifts, primarily leading edge expansions, which have been attributed to global warming. However, there have been few spatially replicated community-scale resurveys testing whether species' responses are spatially consistent. Here we repeated early twentieth century surveys of small mammals along elevational gradients in northern, central and southern regions of montane California. Of the 34 species we analysed, 25 shifted their ranges upslope or downslope in at least one region. However, two-thirds of ranges in the three regions remained stable at one or both elevational limits and none of the 22 species found in all three regions shifted both their upper and lower limits in the same direction in all regions. When shifts occurred, high-elevation species typically contracted their lower limits upslope, whereas low-elevation species had heterogeneous responses. For high-elevation species, site-specific change in temperature better predicted the direction of shifts than change in precipitation, whereas the direction of shifts by low-elevation species was unpredictable by temperature or precipitation. While our results support previous findings of primarily upslope shifts in montane species, they also highlight the degree to which the responses of individual species vary across geographically replicated landscapes.</p>

  2. Statistical Downscaling Using Localized Constructed Analogs (LOCA). DAVID W. PIERCE, DANIEL R. CAYAN, BRIDGET L. THRASHER.
    Journal of Hydrometeorology: 2014
    <p><span style="font-family: AdvPSTIM10-R; font-size: xx-small;"><span style="font-family: AdvPSTIM10-R; font-size: xx-small;"> <p>A new technique for statistically downscaling climate model simulations of daily temperature and precipitation</p> <p>is introduced and demonstrated over the western United States. The localized constructed analogs</p> <p>(LOCA)method produces downscaled estimates suitable for hydrological simulations using amultiscale spatial</p> <p>matching scheme to pick appropriate analog days fromobservations. First, a pool of candidate observed analog</p> <p>days is chosen by matching the model field to be downscaled to observed days over the region that is positively</p> <p>correlated with the point being downscaled, which leads to a natural independence of the downscaling results to</p> <p>the extent of the domain being downscaled. Then, the one candidate analog day that best matches in the local</p> <p>area around the grid cell being downscaled is the single analog day used there. Most grid cells are downscaled</p> <p>using only the single locally selected analog day, but locationswhose neighboring cells identify a different analog</p> <p>day use a weighted combination of the center and adjacent analog days to reduce edge discontinuities. By</p> <p>contrast, existing constructed analog methods typically use a weighted average of the same 30 analog days for</p> <p>the entire domain. By greatly reducing this averaging, LOCA produces better estimates of extreme days,</p> <p>constructs a more realistic depiction of the spatial coherence of the downscaled field, and reduces the problem</p> <p>of producing too many light-precipitation days. The LOCA method is more computationally expensive than</p> <p>existing constructed analog techniques, but it is still practical for downscaling numerous climate model</p> <p>simulations with limited computational resources.</p> </span></span></p>

  3. Synthesis of Policy Relevant Findings from the CalNex 2010 Field Study. .
    Research Division of the California Air Resources Board : 2014

  4. Twenty-First-Century Precipitation Changes over the Los Angeles Region. Neil Berg, Alex Hall, Fengpeng Sun, Scott Capps, Daniel Walton, Baird Langenbrunner, and David Neelin.
    Journal of Climate: 2014
    <p><span style="text-transform: none; background-color: #ffffff; text-indent: 0px; display: inline !important; font: 14px 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; white-space: normal; float: none; letter-spacing: normal; color: #000000; word-spacing: 0px;">A new hybrid statistical-dynamical downscaling technique is described to project mid- and end-of-21st century local precipitation changes associated with 36 global climate models (GCMs) in phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project archive over the greater Los Angeles region. Land-averaged precipitation changes, ensemble-mean changes, and the spread of those changes for both time slices are presented. It is demonstrated that the results are similar to what would be produced if expensive dynamical downscaling techniques were instead applied to all GCMs. Changes in land-averaged ensemble-mean precipitation are near zero for both time slices, reflecting the region&rsquo;s typical position in the models at the node of oppositely-signed large-scale precipitation changes. For both time slices, the inter-model spread of changes is only about 0.2-0.4 times as large as natural interannual variability in the baseline period. A caveat to these conclusions is that interannual variability in the tropical Pacific is generally regarded as a weakness of the GCMs. As a result, there is some chance the GCM responses in the tropical Pacific to a changing climate and associated impacts on Southern California precipitation are not credible. It is subjectively judged that this GCM weakness increases the uncertainty of regional precipitation change, perhaps by as much as 25%. Thus it cannot be excluded that the possibility that significant regional adaptation challenges related to either a precipitation increase or decrease would arise. However, the most likely downscaled outcome is a small change in local mean precipitation compared to natural variability, with large uncertainty on the sign of the change.</span></p>

  5. Upper limit for sea level projections Projection by 2100. S Jevrejeva, A Grinsted and J C Moore.
    Environmental Research Letters: 2014
    DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/9/10/104008
    <p><span style="font-family: AdvOTf9433e2d; font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: AdvOTf9433e2d; font-size: x-small;"> <p>We construct the probability density function of global sea level at 2100, estimating that sea</p> <p>level rises larger than 180 cm are less than 5% probable. An upper limit for global sea level rise</p> <p>of 190 cm is assembled by summing the highest estimates of individual sea level rise</p> <p>components simulated by process based models with the RCP8.5 scenario. The agreement</p> <span style="font-family: AdvOTf9433e2d; font-size: x-small;"> <p>between the methods may suggest more con</p> </span></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: AdvOTf9433e2d+fb; font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: AdvOTf9433e2d+fb; font-size: x-small;">fi</span></span><span style="font-family: AdvOTf9433e2d; font-size: x-small;"> </span> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: AdvOTf9433e2d+fb; font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: AdvOTf9433e2d+fb; font-size: x-small;">fl</span></span><span style="font-family: AdvOTf9433e2d; font-size: x-small;"> </span> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: AdvOTf9433e2d+fb; font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: AdvOTf9433e2d+fb; font-size: x-small;">fi</span></span><span style="font-family: AdvOTf9433e2d; font-size: x-small;"> </span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </p> <p><span style="font-family: AdvOTf9433e2d; font-size: x-small;">nitive. Nevertheless, our upper limit of 180 cm for sea level rise by 2100 is based on both </span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </p> <p>expert opinion and process studies and hence indicates that other lines of evidence are needed to</p> <p>justify a larger sea level rise this century.</p> </p> <p><span style="font-family: AdvOTf9433e2d; font-size: x-small;">owing outlet glaciers in Antarctica. This leads </span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </p> <p>to an intrinsically hard to quantify fat tail in the probability distribution for global mean sea level</p> <p>rise. Thus our low probability upper limit of sea level projections cannot be considered</p> <p><span style="font-family: AdvOTf9433e2d; font-size: x-small;"> <p>de</p> </span></p> </p> <p><span style="font-family: AdvOTf9433e2d; font-size: x-small;">dence than is warranted since large uncertainties </span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </p> <p>remain due to the lack of scenario-dependent projections from ice sheet dynamical models,</p> <p><span style="font-family: AdvOTf9433e2d; font-size: x-small;"> <p>particularly for mass loss from marine-based fast</p> </span></p>

  6. Urban adaptation can roll back warming of emerging megapolitan regions. Matei Georgescu, Philip E. Morefield, Britta G. Bierwagen, and Christopher P. Weaver.
    Clark University, Worcester, MA : 2014

  7. Winter fog is decreasing in the fruit growing region of the Central Valley of California. Baldocchi, D., and E. Waller.
    Geophysical Research Letters: 2014
    DOI: 10.1002/2014GL060018

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