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CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS ON THE PRAIRIE Mandy Guinn, Kerry Hartman, Jen Janecek-Hartman.

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Presentation on theme: "CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS ON THE PRAIRIE Mandy Guinn, Kerry Hartman, Jen Janecek-Hartman."— Presentation transcript:

1 CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS ON THE PRAIRIE Mandy Guinn, Kerry Hartman, Jen Janecek-Hartman

2 What is the IPCC?  IPPC-Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change  Was formed in 1988  By the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO)  To provide objective information about climate change to the public and to policy-makers  Made up of scientists and experts from all over the world  Promotes the UN goals of human development.

3 More Climate Change Information  Here are several sites available to learn about climate.   

4 Current Overall Climate Change Effects  IPCC has documented the following:  Warming of climate system is unequivocal: Now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures Linear warming trend over the 50 years from 1956 to 2005 (0.13[0.10 to 0.16]°C per decade) is nearly twice that for the 100 years from 1906 to Widespread melting of snow and ice Satellite data since 1978 show that annual average Arctic sea ice extent has shrunk by 2.7 [2.1 to 3.3]% per decade, with larger decreases in summer of 7.4 [5.0 to 9.8]% per decade. Mountain glaciers and snow cover on average have declined in both hemispheres. Maximum areal extent of seasonally frozen ground has decreased by about 7% in the Northern Hemisphere since 1900, with decreases in spring of up to 15%.

5 Current Overall Climate Change Effects Rising global average sea level Global average sea level rose at an average rate of 1.8 [1.3 to 2.3]mm per year over 1961 to 2003 and at an average rate of about 3.1 [2.4 to 3.8]mm per year from 1993 to Whether this faster rate for 1993 to 2003 reflects decadal variation or an increase in the longer term trend is unclear. Since 1993 thermal expansion of the oceans has contributed about 57% of the sum of the estimated individual contributions to the sea level rise. Decreases in glaciers and ice caps contributing about 28% and losses from the polar ice sheets contributing the remainder. From 1993 to 2003 the sum of these climate contributions is consistent within uncertainties with the total sea level rise that is directly observed.

6 Current Overall Climate Change Effects 2007 IPCC Report

7 How Might Climate Change Effect the Prairies?  Warming in western mountains is projected to cause decreased snowpack, more winter flooding and reduced summer flows, exacerbating competition for over-allocated water resources.  Prairies depend water from snowpack to feed rivers in region  In the early decades of century, moderate climate change is projected to increase aggregate yields of rain-fed agriculture by 5 to 20%, with important variability among regions.  Major challenges are projected for crops that are near the warm end of their suitable range or which depend on highly utilized water resources.

8 How Might Climate Change Effect the Prairies?  Earlier timing of spring events, such as leaf-unfolding, bird migration and egg-laying; and upward shifts in ranges in plant and animal species.  Based on satellite observations since the early 1980s, there is high confidence that there has been a trend towards earlier ‘greening’ of vegetation in the spring linked to longer thermal growing seasons due to recent warming.  Cities that currently experience heat waves are expected to be further challenged by an increased number, intensity and duration of heat waves during the course of the century, with potential for adverse health impacts.

9 How do Scientists Make Predictions about Future Climate Scenarios?  Scientists use multiple estimates of future GHG (green house gas emissions) to develop scenarios or potential patterns of climate changes.  They estimate low, medium and high emissions.  These are compared to historical levels of emissions and resulting global temp increases to make predictions about a range of future impacts.

10 Example of Model Used

11 Activities  Students may choose from the following list:  Prepare a short presentation or report on how scientist use studies to discuss current impacts of climate change on the prairies.  Complete the Big Muddy/Drought Activities included with PowerPoint  Prepare a short presentation or report on how scientists use modeling to predict future climate change impacts on the prairies.  Prepare a presentation or report on the climate change impacts on prairie flora or fauna or both  Interview an Elder or Natural Resources employee to discuss climate change impacts on your Tribe.  Review an article on climate change impacts using the provided literature review form.  Presentations and reports will be evaluated using included rubric


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