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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATION OF CLIMATE VARIABILITY AND FORECASTS INTO RISK-BASED MANAGEMENT TOOLS FOR AGRICULTURE PRODUCTION AND RESOURCE CONSERVATION

Location: Great Plains Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research Unit

Title: CLIMATE VARIABILITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Authors
item Piechota, Thomas - UNIV. OF LAS VEGAS
item Garbrecht, Jurgen
item Schneider, Jeanne

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2006
Publication Date: March 1, 2006
Citation: Piechota, T.C., Garbrecht, J.D., Schneider, J.M. 2006. Climate variability and climate change. In: Garbrecht, J.D., Piechota, T.C., editors. Climate Variations, Climate Change, and Water Resources Engineering. Reston, VA:American Society of Civil Engineers. p. 3-18.

Interpretive Summary: Climate change and climate variability has received considerable attention from the scientific community in recent decades and has led to a better understanding of various climate phenomena and driving mechanisms. This increased understanding of climate has prompted engineers and policy makers to ask two important questions: 1) how can an improved understanding of climate variability advance our ability to manage resources such as water, energy, and the environment; and 2) what are the potential impacts on our water resources due to projected climate change? A book “Climate Change, Climate Variations and Water Resources Engineering” has been written on this subject and provides the practicing water resources engineer with an overview of the multiple facets of climate change and climate variability that are relevant to water resources. This first chapter reviews and provides brief explanations of: natural climate variations that can last from a few years to several decades; teleconnections that identify apparent causal relationships between regional climate conditions and ocean/atmospheric conditions in adjacent or remote regions; and, anthropogenic climate change or long term change as a result of human activities rather than from natural causes. The chapter also discusses climate predictability and forecasting, including forecast skill and uncertainty, which are particularly important aspects for planning and management of water resources.

Technical Abstract: Climate change and climate variability has received considerable attention from the scientific community in recent decades and has led to a better understanding of various climate phenomena and driving mechanisms. This increased understanding of climate has prompted engineers and policy makers to ask two important questions: 1) how can an improved understanding of climate variability advance our ability to manage resources such as water, energy, and the environment; and 2) what are the potential impacts on our water resources due to projected climate change? A book “Climate Change, Climate Variations and Water Resources Engineering” has been written on this subject and provides the practicing water resources engineer with an overview of the multiple facets of climate change and climate variability that are relevant to water resources. This first chapter reviews and provides brief explanations of: natural climate variations that can last from a few years to several decades; teleconnections that identify apparent causal relationships between regional climate conditions and ocean/atmospheric conditions in adjacent or remote regions; and, anthropogenic climate change or long term change as a result of human activities rather than from natural causes. The chapter also discusses climate predictability and forecasting, including forecast skill and uncertainty, which are particularly important aspects for planning and management of water resources.

Last Modified: 8/31/2014
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