Climate Change Impacts for the Conterminous USA: An Integrated Assessment Part 1. Scenarios and Context
As CO2 and other greenhouse gasses accumulate in the atmosphere and contribute to rising global temperatures, it is important to examine how a changing climate may affect natural and managed ecosystems. In this series of papers, we study the impacts of climate change on agriculture, water resources and natural ecosystems in the conterminous United States using a suite of climate change projections from General Circulation Models (GCMs) and three biophysical models. In this paper we present the climate change scenarios used to drive the impact analyses. The assumed levels of global-mean climate changes are discussed and placed in the context of recent work on climate-change scenarios for the next 100 years. The spatial variation of these changes given by the GCM results used for the impact analyses are also discussed.