Climate Futures Evaluation and Synthesis Tool

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1 Climate Futures Evaluation and Synthesis Tool September 2015 Alexander Epstein, Ben Rasmussen, and Chris Cutler The National Transportation Systems Center Advancing transportation innovation for the public good U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the Secretary of Transportation John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

2 Central New Mexico Climate Change Scenario Planning Project 2

3 Partnerships Federal funding sponsors Supporting federal agencies Regional and local agencies / governments Private and academic entities 3

4 Purpose/History Purpose Focus: 50% adaptation and 50% mitigation Uses scenario planning as a framework Integrates into LRTP Involves multiple agencies with different priorities; not just transportation Two locations Coast: pilot project on Cape Cod, Massachusetts ( ) Non-coastal: Central New Mexico ( ) Key differences Modeling approach used State of the practice 4

5 Climate Change Adaptation Process Identify: Regional climate change impacts The effect of these impacts on transportation, land use, and natural resources The effect of transportation and land use policy choices on climate change impacts Example adaptation strategies: Mixed use/density Buffers around risk areas How will these strategies be affected by climate change impacts? How will these strategies improve or reduce resiliency? 5

6 The Dataset Variables Precipitation (mm/day) Maximum daily temperature ( C) Minimum daily temperature ( C) Average daily temperature ( C) derived by averaging max & min Average daily wind speed Projections Range Downscaled (fine spatial resolution translations) of CMIP3 climate projections Based on 112 model runs: 9 models, 3 emissions scenarios Supplied by Bureau of Reclamation Technical Services Center Updated CMIP5 projections recently became available (July 2014) 6

7 369 grid cells with 1/8 th degree downscaled CMIP3 climate projections 7

8 Climate Futures Plot Parameters Any year between now and 2099 can be selected for analysis with whatever range/average desired Following analyses used these inputs: Baseline period is Future period is (± 15 years around 2040) And produced these outputs: Change in Average Monthly Max and Min Temperatures Change in Average Monthly Precipitation Maximum Consecutive and Total Days > 100 F Maximum 24-hour Precipitation Maximum Drought Length (Consecutive Days w/ No Precipitation) 8

9 Changes in annual climate averages for all GCMs at selected grid cell in selected year from 20 th century baseline ( ) Future 1 Warm Wet Future 2 Hot Wet Future 3 Central Future 4 Warm Dry Future 5 Hot Dry 9

10 Actual CFEST outputs Monthly temperature change Cooling degree days (100 F) Heat wave indicator Monthly precipitation change Flash flood indicator Drought indicator 10

11 Parameters used for outputs Location SW quadrant of Albuquerque ( , ) Baseline: Timeframes Future: (30-years centered on 2040) 11

12 Change in Average Daily Maximum Temperature in 2040 ( ) vs

13 13

14 14

15 MRCOG-identified grid cells of interest Grid Cell #1 Grid Cell #5 Rio Rancho area, N of Albuquerque ( , ) Elevation: 5,615 ft. Santa Fe National Forest, N of Albuquerque ( , ) Elevation: 7,435 ft. Original Grid Cell SW quadrant of Albuquerque ( , ) Elevation: 4,940 ft. Grid Cell #3 Cibola National Forest, E of Albuquerque ( , ) Elevation: 7,025 ft. Grid Cell #2 Los Lunas area, S of Albuquerque ( , ) Elevation: 5,005 ft. Grid Cell #4 General desert area, SE of Albuquerque ( , ) Elevation: 6,155 ft. 15

16 Max Consecutive Days of 100 F in Baseline ( ) and 2040 ( average) Original Grid Cell Grid Cell #1 Grid Cell #2 Grid Cell #3 Grid Cell #4 Grid Cell #5 16

17 Total Days Over 100 F in Baseline ( ) and 2040 ( average) Original Grid Cell Grid Cell #1 Grid Cell #2 Grid Cell #3 Grid Cell #4 Grid Cell #5 17

18 Change in Average Monthly Precipitation in 2040 ( ) vs Original Grid Cell Grid Cell #1 Grid Cell #2 Grid Cell #3 Grid Cell #4 Grid Cell #5 18

19 Max 24-Hour Precipitation in Baseline ( ) and 2040 ( average) Original Grid Cell Grid Cell #1 Grid Cell #2 Grid Cell #3 Grid Cell #4 Grid Cell #5 19

20 Max Drought Length in Baseline ( ) and 2040 ( average) Original Grid Cell Grid Cell #1 Grid Cell #2 Grid Cell #3 Grid Cell #4 Grid Cell #5 20

21 Application in Central New Mexico Informed: Where existing development is at risk Where future development should be minimal Energy: increase in cooling degree days Impacts for natural and cultural resources o Riparian habitats o T&E species 21

22 Next Steps Incorporate extreme value theory for outlier event analysis Obtain CMIP5 data and upgrade current tool to process it Comparison of CMIP5 versus CMIP3 impacts Develop capacity to analyze local climate outcomes versus low or high emissions scenarios in CMIP3/CMIP5 Add spatial element Develop heat maps to display changes of multiple grid cells across a region Add time series element, e.g., to analyze species migration Develop additional output metrics: Water stress or soil moisture deficit Freeze-thaw cycles Apply to other regions 22

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