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Climate Change and Climate Variability Effects on Regional Ecosystems Theme

Why Climate Change Impacts Research?

NOAA believes that the nation needs targeted climate services at all scales and that this goal will require unprecedented levels of coordination between all agencies. Within the US, extensive climate-related changes have been documented. In the 2001 Southeast Regional Climate Assessment Study sponsored by NASA, the southeastern U.S. was the only region for which climate models simulated large and opposing changes in precipitation patterns over the next 100 years. The range of differences was so great that it was difficult to state with any degree of confidence that precipitation will increase or decrease in the Southeast over the next 30 to 100 years as atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases increase. A highly developed global model with an embedded high resolution regional model is expected to provide more accurate site- and year-specific predictions of maximum and minimum temperature, precipitation frequency and amount, and net radiation than forecasts based on historic or El Nino Southern Oscillation climatology.

Research Goals

  1. Impact of regional climate variability on watersheds and coastal activity
  2. Explore the impacts of event-scale forcing linked with climate variability
  3. Examine climate change impacts to fisheries ecosystems

How We're Doing It

Deployment of successful monitoring systems and highly sophisticated data analysis are just two of the strengths NGI has brought to bear on this theme. The collaboration between partners has created a synergistic approach to collecting data for climate model inputs and model interpretation. Effective climate models contribute to a better understanding of the northern Gulf of Mexico ecosystems and how they are affected by climate change.