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Year Published

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 1999

  1. The impacts of climatic changes for water resources of the Colorado and Sacramento-San Joaquin River Basins. Gleick, P. H. & Chalecki, E. L..
    Journal of the American Water Resources Association: 1999
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.1999.tb04227.x
    A wide variety of regional assessments of the water-related impacts of climatic change have been done over the past two decades, using different methods, approaches, climate models, and assumptions. As part of the Water Sector research for the National Assessment of the Implications of Climatic Variability and Change for the United States, several major summaries have been prepared, looking at the differences and similarities in results among regional research projects. Two such summaries are presented here, for the Colorado River Basin and the Sacramento River Basin. Both of these watersheds are vitally important to the social, economic, and ecological character of their regions; both are large snowmelt-driven basins; both have extensive and complex water management systems in place; and both have had numerous, independent studies done on them.

  2. The Role of Climate Change In Interpreting Historical Variability. Woolfenden, Constance I. Millar; Wallacew B..
    Ecological Applications: 1999
    Significant climate anomalies have characterized the last 1000 yr in the Sierra Nevada, California, USA. Two warm, dry periods of 150- and 200-yr duration occurred during AD 900–1350, which were followed by anomalously cold climates, known as the Little Ice Age, that lasted from AD 1400 to 1900. Climate in the last century has been significantly warmer. Regional biotic and physical response to these climatic periods occurred. Climate variability presents challenges when interpreting historical variability, including the need to accommodate climate effects when comparing current ecosystems to historical conditions, especially if comparisons are done to evaluate causes (e.g., human impacts) of differences, or to develop models for restoration of current ecosystems. Many historical studies focus on “presettlement” periods, which usually fall within the Little Ice Age. Thus, it should be assumed that ecosystems inferred for these historical periods responded to different climates than those at present, and management implications should be adjusted accordingly. The warmer centuries before the Little Ice Age may be a more appropriate analogue to the present, although no historic period is likely to be better as a model than an understanding of what conditions would be at present without intervention. Understanding the climate context of historical reconstruction studies, and adjusting implications to the present, should strengthen the value of historical variability research to management.


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