Projected climate change scenarios for Izembek National Wildlife Refuge

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Many areas in Alaska are already showing signs of climate change. In order to understand what these changes may be like, data from a composite of five down-scaled global circulation models was used to estimate decadal averages of future temperature and precipitation values within Izembek National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). These models assume a steady increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel combustion over the first several decades of the 21st century, followed by a gradual decline in emissions as several kinds of low-emission energy alternatives become more prevalent.

Temperatures are projected to increase over the coming decades at an average rate of about 1°F per decade. Average annual temperature is expected to rise by about 5°F by 2040 and as much as 8°F by 2080.

A likely outcome of these changes is a lengthening of the growing season, a change that could have profound affects on wildlife mating cycles, plant growth and flowering, water availability in soil and rivers, and hunting and fishing.

Read more by clicking on the link below.

PDF icon Izembek-climate-change-scenarios.pdf200.35 KB